This is the January Update designed to keep you abreast of developments and activities concerning the implementation of the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act, or HFQLG.

Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act
Implementation
January 2001

PROJECT UPDATES

HFQLG PILOT PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

This plan outlines the completion of the Pilot Project as described in the selected Alternative 2 from the HFQLG Environmental Impact Statement. The five-year Pilot Project, as described in Alternative 2 with full funding expects to annually construct 40,000 to 60,000 acres of DFPZs; harvest 8700 acres of Group Selections; and implement seven watershed/riparian restoration projects. The plan displays the Pilot Project Area divided into 31 smaller areas called sub networks. These sub networks have been prioritized to meet the objective of completion of the highest priority DFPZ sub networks first. This will enable an independent scientific panel to review and report on whether, and to what extent, implementation of the Pilot Project under the HFQLG Act achieved the goals stated in the QLG Community Stability Proposal. The goals for the QLG proposal include improved ecological health and community stability. The plan also contains time frames for site-specific projects in order to accomplish full implementation. The plan, which is a working document and subject to frequent updates based on funding and environmental analysis can be found at the HFQLG Website : www.fs.fed.us/r5/hfqlg/ under Current Activities. Questions about this plan should be directed to Assistant Project Manager Phil Tuma (530-283-7721).

HFQLG PROGRAM OF WORK FOR 2000

The Ranger Districts within the Pilot Project area are continuing work as the field season closes. Six of the seven Environmental Assessments (EA’s) and associated Decision Notices for HFQLG projects released have been appealed to and affirmed by the Regional Forester. The seventh Decision Notice was signed in late September and the appeal period ended November 15. The Regional Forester’s Appeal Decisions can be found at the following Website: http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/appeals/appeals.htm

The projects analyzed within these EAs are being implemented using Service Contracts and Timber Sales. These projects will lead to approximately 18,210 acres of Defensible Fuels Profile Zones (DFPZs), 366 acres of Group Selection (GS), and 2000 acres of Individual Tree Selection (ITS) this year.

To date, five Service Contracts have been awarded and five are still open for proposals. A table displaying these contracts follows. These Service Contracts are agreements between an Operator and the Forest Service to perform activities associated with DFPZ construction. The kinds of activities the Forest Service pays Operators to do include chainsaw thinning, handpiling, hand cutting brush, mechanical brush crushing, mechanical thinning, and fireline construction.

There are currently seven Timber Sales that are implementing DFPZ construction, GS, and ITS. Timber Sales are agreements between a Purchaser and the Forest Service where the Purchaser pays the Forest Service for the merchantible products removed from the sale area. Merchantible products are commonly sawlogs and chips.

HFQLG PROGRAM OF WORK FOR 2001

Additionally, the Ranger Districts are planning for 2001 projects. The level of implementation will reflect the available funding. Final FY 2001 allocations have not been made.

TEMPORARY TIMBER SALE SUSPENSION

In October 2000, the Earth Island Institute, the Tule River Conservancy, and the Forest Conservation Council filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service regarding protection of habitat for the California spotted owl and the Pacific fisher. They also indicated they would be seeking a preliminary injunction to halt timber sales in the Sierra Nevada Framework planning area.

On November 21, the Department of Justice, representing the Forest Service, notified the plaintiffs that the Forest Service would: (1) not offer, advertise, auction, or award any timber sales until March 1, 2001 or 30 days after a Record of Decision is issued on the Sierra Nevada forest plan amendments, which ever occurs first; and (2) stop all timber sale activities by December 11, 2000 for timber sales already under contract and within the planning area for the Sierra Nevada Framework. Removal of already fallen timber is permitted past the December 11 deadline, as well as activities to winterize the sale area. Hazard tree removal projects, firewood cutting, Christmas tree cutting, and some service contracts will be unaffected by the Agency action.

This action is in keeping with October 1999 direction from the Chief of the Forest Service establishing a uniform national policy to guide the Agency when timber sale(s) are legally challenged. Questions concerning the lawsuit should be directed to Ed Brennan, Assistant U.S. Attorney, at 916 554-2766.

SIERRA NEVADA FRAMEWORK UPDATE

Progress on the Final EIS continues to move toward completion. The Final EIS and Record of Decision should be available in mid-January 2001.

Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service representatives continue to work on strategies for conserving wildlife habitat. Framework staff and representatives from the HF-QLG Pilot Project forests continue to review the relationships and coordination between the Pilot Project and various Framework alternatives. The team is developing an analysis of effects of Framework alternatives on HF-QLG Pilot Project for consideration by the Regional Forester.

Dave Peters, HFQLG Project Manager, provided an update on Framework activities and timeline to members of the Quincy Library Group this month.

HFQLG PILOT PROJECT MONITORING PLAN

The final plan is expected to be released in January 2001. Details of this plan are available from Monitoring Team Leader Wayne Johannson (530-283-7881).

LITIGATION

The Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) lawsuit continues. Plaintiffs are currently reviewing the Administrative Record. According to the most recent schedule, the parties will file cross-motions for summary judgment on or before January 20, 2001.

The following table displays the Service Contracts that are awarded and scheduled to be awarded as of December 15, 2000:
Project Name District DFPZ Acres Service Contract Task Date of NEPA Decision Contract Award Date
LASSEN

Prattville DFPZ

ALRD

1356

 

7/26/00

Proposal due 11/14/00

Cherry Hill DFPZ

ALRD

875

 

7/26/00

Proposal due 11/21/00

Pittville North

HCRD

1000

 

8/8/00

Proposal due 11/22/00

Pittville South

HCRD

1000

 

8/8/00

Proposal due 11/22/00

PLUMAS

Dotta

BRD

224

Chainsaw thinning and handpiling

4/26/00

9/11/00

Red Clover DFPZ

BRD

1196

Mechanical Pre-Commercial Thinning

6/15/00

10/17/00

Spike Buck

BRD

800

 

FY 97

 

Red Mtn-Arkansas

FRRD

349

Item 1:  Hand cut brush and saplings and Install firelines (4’ wide) by hand

7/13/00

11/14/00

     

Item 2:  Mastication by excavator and Install mechanical firelines (4’ wide)

   

Antelope-Border

MHRD

2,100

 

7/19/00

Proposal due 11/13/00

Red Clover DFPZ

BRD

1196

Mechanical Pre-Commercial Thinning

6/15/00

10/17/00

TAHOE

Skippy

SVRD

528

Mechanical Pre-commercial thinning

5/17/99

8/22/00

Jelly

SVRD

137

Mechanical Pre-Commercial thinning

5/20/99

8/9/00



This table displays the Timber Sales under contract* as of November 15, 2000:
Project Name District DFPZ Acres GS Acres ITS Acres Date of NEPA Decision Date of Bid Opening Sawlog Volume CCF Biomass Volume CCF
LASSEN

Butte DFPZ

ALRD

175

   

7/26/00

11/8/00* No bids received

600

n/a

Bridge Thin

ELRD

500

 

146

11/15/95

10/29/00

4608

9059

Cant Thin

ELRD

175

 

127

11/15/95

9/15/00

1323

3441

Signal Small Log

ELRD

832

 

329

11/15/95

8/16/00

5451

8047

Summit Small Log

ELRD

1,603

 

170

9/17/95

7/28/00

22,525

5490

Pittville DFPZ

HCRD

2,500

200

 

8/8/00

11/15/00

7967

22,525

PLUMAS

Red Clover DFPZ

BRD

N/A

   

6/15/00

10/17/00

605

1896

TAHOE

Marmalade

SVRD

640

0

172

5/17/99

9/30/99

4,785

10,775GT



This table displays the 2001 HFQLG Project NEPA/Appeals Timelines:
Project Name District Scoping Date Notice & Comment NEPA Decision End of Appeal Period Final Appeal Decision Due
LASSEN NF

Brown's Ravine

ARD

Lakes EIS

NOI 12/00

Lakes EIS

DEIS 3/01

Lakes EIS

ROD 05/01

07/01

09/01

Lakes

ARD

Lakes EIS

NOI 12/00

Lakes EIS

DEIS 3/01

Lakes EIS

ROD 05/01

07/01

09/01

Scott

ARD

Lakes EIS

NOI 12/00

Lakes EIS

DEIS 3/01

Lakes EIS

ROD 05/01

07/01

09/01

West Dusty

ARD

Done FY00

--

--

--

--

Miscellaneous SAI

ARD

Done FY00

--

--

--

--

Pegleg/A21

ELRD

06/06/00

12/00

02/19/01

04/05/01

05/20/01

Cone/Crater

ELRD

01/31/01

03/31/01

05/01/01

06/15/01

07/30/01

Blacks Ridge

HCRD

01/01

04/01

05/01

07/01

09/01

Ridge #1

HCRD

01/01

04/01

05/01

07/01

09/01

Ridge #2

HCRD

01/01

04/01

05/01

07/01

09/01

North Coble

HCRD

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

11/01

Coble #1

HCRD

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

11/01

Coble #2

HCRD

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

11/01

PLUMAS NF

Red Clover GS

BRD

12/00

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

Last Chance

BRD

11/00

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

Poison

BRD

11/00

04/01

06/01

07/01

09/01

Dotta 2

BRD

Done FY00

--

--

--

--

Stony Ridge

BRD

11/02/00

12/01/00

4/19/01

6/11/01

07/26/01

Lower Slate

FRRD

01/01

04/01

06/15/01

08/01/01

09/15/01

Upper Slate

FRRD

01/01

04/01

06/15/01

08/01/01

09/15/01

Kingsbury Rush

MHRD

01/01

04/01

06/15/01

08/01/01

09/15/01

Waters

MHRD

2/01

3/01

7/01

9/01

10/01

Lowe-Boulder

MHRD

2/01

3/01

7/01

9/01

10/01

Cold

MHRD

2/01

3/01

7/01

9/01

10/01

TAHOE NF

Beak

SVRD

02/08/01

05/07/01

05/31/01

07/16/01

08/30/01

Where to get more information: