This is the March 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
March 2001

SIERRA NEVADA FRAMEWORK UPDATE

The Regional Forester signed the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (Framework) on January 12, 2001. The Framework developed a conservation strategy for the California spotted owl that replaces both the CASPO (California spotted owl) Interim Direction and the mitigation measure of the HFQLG Record of Decision. The Framework affects the overall implementation of the DFPZ (Defensible Fuels Profile Zone), Group Selection (GS) and Individual Tree Selection (ITS) projects. All projects will comply with the standards and guidelines of this new owl strategy, which includes canopy closure and large tree retention requirements. The Regional Forester expects that up to 90% of the DFPZs will be implemented; however, the new owl strategy will change the extent of treatments. The Group Selections currently being planned for FY 01 in non-suitable owl habitat are expected to continue without modification.

As directed by the Regional Forester, an administrative study is currently being planned that will investigate how owls and features of their habitat respond to certain silvicultural treatments. Group Selections within suitable owl habitat are expected to be one of the silvicultural treatments investigated. In February, a team of scientists led by Dr. Peter Stine from the Pacific Southwest Research Station, began development of the study, which will include portions on the HFQLG Pilot Project.

HFQLG PILOT PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN<

The HFQLG Implementation Plan is a working document and subject to frequent updates based on funding and project planning. It 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 2001

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.

Table 1 shows a list projects with environmental analysis complete and decisions made. These projects are expected to be implemented on the ground this 2001 field season.

Table 1. FY01 Projects with Decisions

Projects to be implemented in FY01

DFPZ

Acres

GS

Acres

ITS

Acres

Rx Burn Acres

West Dusty

600

0

0

 

Misc. SAI

400

0

0

 

Dotta 2

200

0

0

 

Spike Buck 2

     

1300


Table 2 shows the status of those projects currently being analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the proposed treatment acres associated with each. It is important to note that these are only proposals, not decisions to be implemented. The proposals and alternatives will be subjected to analysis with public involvement during the next several months. Project decisions are expected by late spring or early summer.

Table 2. FY 01 Projects under environmental analysis

Analysis

Area

Name

Scoping

Initiated

EA or DEIS* Notice and Comment

DFPZ

Acres

GS

Acres

ITS

Acres

Rx Burn

Acres

Pegleg

6/6/00

3/01

6,640

429

0

not determined

Stony Ridge

10/26/00

3/01

1,176

250

0

1652

Last Chance

11/22/00

4/01

4,669

170

0

1699

Poison

11/22/00

4/01

3,034

0

0

364

Lakes (EIS)

12/11/00

3/01*

7,780

1,100

460

not determined

Blacks Ridge

12/18/00

4/01

7,000

750

0

11395

Red Clover

1/8/01

4/01

0

160

357

not determined

Cold

2/12/01

3/01

1,600

0

0

1062

Upper Slate

2/12/01

4/01

1,500

0

0

1500

Lower Slate

2/16/01

4/01

3,507

0

0

3507

Waters

2/16/01

3/01

8,000

0

0

6874

Kingsbury Rush

2/21/01

4/01

3,968

0

0

3694

Scraps

2/23/01

5/01

2,714

261

1,051

4914

TOTAL

   

51,588

3,120

1,868

 

*Environmental Assessment or Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Districts are expected to initiate scoping on additional projects listed on the Implementation Plan this spring.

HFQLG PROGRAM OF WORK FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000

All of the seven project decisions made in FY 2000 were appealed to the Regional Forester. The Regional Foresterís Appeal Decisions, affirming six decisions and reversing one, can be found at the following Websitehttp://www.r5.fs.fed.us/appeals/appeals.htm

To date, six timber sales and seven service contracts have been awarded. Four service contracts are still pending award, and are expected to be awarded this month.

Table 3 displaying these contracts follows:

Table 3. FY2000 HFQLG Project Status

Project Name

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY ACRES

Contract Award Date

DFPZ

GROUP SELECTION

INDIVIDUAL TREE SELECTION

Timber Sales

Marmalade

640

0

172

Award 9/30/99

Summit Small Log

1631

0

170

Award 7/28/00

Signal Small Log

860

0

329

Award 8/16/00

Cant Thin

175

0

127

Award 9/15/00

Bridge Thin

500

0

146

Award 10/29/00

Pittville

2338

200

0

Award 11/15/00

Lahonton

219

66

363

Pending

Leftover

762

100

693

Pending

Service Contracts

Jelly

137

0

0

Award 8/9/00

Skippy

528

0

0

Award 8/22/00

Dotta

224

0

0

Award 9/11/00

Spike Buck

800

0

0

Award 9/27/00

Red Clover

1196

0

0

Award 10/17/00

Red Mtn Arkansas

717

0

0

Award 11/14/00

Prattville

1356

0

0

Award Pending

Cherry Hill

875

0

0

Award Pending

Pittville North

1000

0

0

Award Pending

Pittville South

1000

0

0

Award Pending

Antelope-Border

2100

0

0

Award 2/16/01

TOTAL

17,058

366

2000

 


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.

Timber Sales are agreements between a Purchaser and the Forest Service in which the Purchaser pays the Forest Service for the merchantable products removed from the sale area. Merchantable products are commonly sawlogs and chips.

HFQLG PILOT PROJECT MONITORING PLAN

Details of this plan are available from Monitoring Team Leader Wayne Johannson (530-283-7881).

ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS

The HFQLG Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to annually submit a status report to Congress. The report covering Fiscal Year 2000 has been sent to Washington, DC. Questions about the Report to Congress should be directed to Assistant Project Manager Phil Tuma (530-283-7721).

LITIGATION

The Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) lawsuit continues. Plaintiffs are currently reviewing the Administrative Record. The Appellant and the U.S. Department of Justice are currently in the midst of briefing the case, and a hearing is set for April 2001.

Where to get more information: