Recent discussions between some members of the timber industry, the county governments of Lassen, Plumas and Sierra, fisheries and environmental groups indicate a common desire to implement a short-term strategy of forest management on the Plumas, Lassen, and portions of the Tahoe National Forests. This effort was undertaken to promote forest health, ecological integrity, adequate timber supply and local economic stability. This may allow local communities to survive while long-term plans are developed, yet afford adequate environmental protection during this interim period.
These discussions were initiated by Bill Coates (Plumas County Supervisor) in seeking to find some "common ground" between local environmental groups and the timber industry. Preliminary meetings with Mr. Coates, Michael Jackson (Friends of Plumas Wilderness), and Tom Nelson (Sierra Pacific Industries) led to continuing, expanded discussions with a much broader and diverse group.
Sharing a common belief that present USFS management is inadequate to meet the objectives of any of the members, this group (collectively known as the "Quincy Library Group ") has reached agreement on several crucial issues for Federal land management on these National Forests-- issues that have previously been the basis for ongoing disputes.
They include the following:
1) Communities within Lassen, Plumas and Sierra Counties rely upon the forest products industry for education, roads and basic infrastructure. Specifically, the communities of Susanville, Chester, Quincy, Loyalton, Bieber, and Greenville are highly dependent upon the forest products industry and may not survive the current reductions in Federal timber harvests.
2) To promote forest health we believe that three ecosystem management strategies must be implemented simultaneously:
3) In general, we believe that the implementation of these strategies will expand the existing landbase available for timber production beyond that currently "zoned" for timber production but that environmental effects upon this expanded landbase will be greatly reduced. The intent of these Strategies is to create a forest that will more closely mimic the historic natural landscapes of the Sierra, while protecting and enhancing recreational opportunities.
4) In order to adequately assure community stability, protective mechanisms such as SBA/SSTS set-asides should be continued, stewardship contracts should be expanded, and a "sustained yield unit" as authorized by Congress must be established.
These four concepts were then examined in more detail, to arrive at more definite recommendations. After analyzing many different technical methods to achieve the Group's common objectives, the following specific agreements were reached:
a) Forest land base:
b) All silvicultural prescriptions will be uneven-aged management. The Desired Future Condition is an all-age, multi-story, fire-resistant forest approximating pre- settlement conditions. This will be achieved by utilizing individual tree selection such as the system used by Collins Pine and/or group selection (area control to reach regulation).
c) Riparian systems protection during timber harvest activities will be provided by implementation of the Scientific Analysis Team's (SAT) guidelines. Grazing allotment renewal plans will include financing and provisions for restoration and protection of these riparian networks. In addition, the USFS shall seek every opportunity to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to restore adequate flows for fisheries and recreation.
d) Administrative approval for a northern Sierra working circle is requested that encompasses the counties of Lassen, Plumas, and the Sierraville Ranger District of the Tahoe NF and includes the SBA set-asides as in "4" above.
e) Fire/Fuels management: CASPO recommendations are endorsed to integrate present fire management programs of the USFS with harvest of smaller material earmarked for local sawmills. CASPO recommendations to inventory dead and down material, and replenish as needed, are also endorsed.
f) Old Growth: It is our opinion that (as long as the above practices and policies are successfully implemented) the remainder of the forest landbase should remain available for timber management. On Dunning Sites 3-5, the equivalent of a 200 year rotation (using uneven-age systems would be employed and a shorter rotation of 150 years would be used on Dunning Sites 1 & 2.
We realize that our opinion is simply an educated opinion and may not be appropriate in the eyes of others. All other opinions have a reasonable possibility of being right. We also believe that we represent a very diverse group of local interests, each with a shared stake in the outcome of these actions. We recommend this method of management for these forests be implemented for five years while the Regional EIS for CASPO is being prepared, decided, appealed, and litigated. We would further propose that any working circle established as a result of our plan sunset five years after installation of that plan.
Representatives from the following organizations and viewpoints voluntarily met to develop these proposals and unanimously approve submittal of this action plan to the United States Forest Service:
Michael Jackson, Friends of Plumas Wilderness
Bob Baiocchi, Calif. Sportfishing Protection Alliance
Tom Gregory, Sierra County Conservation Club II
Mike Yost, Friends of Plumas Wilderness
Bill Coates, Plumas County Supervisor
Lenny Gallegos, Supervisor, SierraCounty
Frank Stewart, Collins Pine Co.
Tom Nelson, Sierra Pacific Industries
Fred Duchi,Siskiyou Plumas Lumber
Steve Self, Sierra Pacific Industries
Carl Pew, Pew Logging and LumberCo.
Ed Murphy, Sierra Pacific Industries
Bill Banka, Sierra Pacific Industries
Don Huston, Collins Pine Co.
Bill Howe, Collins Pine Co.
Michael Kossow, Friends of Plumas Wilderness
Michael De Lasaux, University of California, Cooperative Extension
John Sheehan, Plumas Corporation
Gary Shaffer, Almanor Forest Products
Susan Baremore, Feather River Alliance for Resources and Environment
Rose Comstock,Women In Timber, Quincy Chapter
Pat Terhune, Plumas Community Coalition
Claud Neely,Supervisor, Lassen County
Gary Lempke, Supervisor, Lassen County
Jerry McCaffery,Supervisor, Sierra County
Brooks Mitchell, Association of California Loggers, Quincy Chapter
Phillip Nemir, Lassen Land Trails Trust
Anne Eldred, Citizen, Sierra County
Paul Harris, WCIW, Local 3074
Harry Reeves, Quincy Resident Environmentalist
Linda Blum, Quincy Resident Independent Thinker
Wally C. Roney, Lassen Range Association
Karen Laslo, Plumas Audubon Society
Loretta Stringfellow, California Women in Timber, Quincy Chapter
Earnest Eaton, Nor. Cal/Nev Resource Conservation and Development
James Hamblin, Greenville Community Services District
Mark Shaffer, Almanor Forest Products, Lassen County Planning Comm.
Robert Meacher, Supervisor, Plumas County
Bob Farnworth, Feather River Resource Conservation District
Mr. Wayne Thornton, Supervisor
Plumas National Forest
P. O. Box 11500
Quincy, CA 95971
Dear Mr. Thornton:
Please defer sales on Becknell and Last Chance until further environmental review is completed and the sales are modified. In addition the Quincy Library Group encourages a liaison from the group to the Plumas National Forest team responding to the Community Stability Proposal.
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