While driving to Yosemite the other day, I passed through the Stanislaus National Forest on California Highway 120. I’ve seen this project for several years, and decided to stop and see how it looks a few years after completion. These strips are adjacent to the highway for about 6 miles, on both sides of the road. The previous condition had thickets of “whippy” pines, and manzanita brush, making groundwater very scarce at this 3000-4000 foot elevation. I did see some “old growth” manzanita “stumps”, and it looks like very little commercial-sized timber ( over 10″ dbh) was removed.
I did see where the manzanita was “stump-sprouting” but, their growth will be limited in the shaded areas. Certainly, a mosaic of brush is inevitable but, it appears that the focus of this project is to reduce fuels along the main source of ignitions. It also provides a safe corridor where emergency vehicles can get to where they need to go. This project also seems to give forest development a nice “nudge”, reducing the amount of time needed for larger trees to grow. It will also safely allow the use of prescribed fires, to control future “fuels”.
Now, I am not sure if this was a “Service Contract”, or a part of a larger timber sale. It really doesn’t look like they removed enough value to pay for the non-commercial tasks. However, this is a good example of necessary things that should be paid for with sustainable forest management.
OK, OK….. I’ll post a picture from Yosemite!
I saw no less than 30 bucks around Tuolumne Meadows, including an 8 or 9 pointer! Pics on my page!