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CASPO INTERIM GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are derived from California Spotted Owl
Sierran Province Interim Guidelines Environmental Assessment, USDA
Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, November 1993 [hereafter referred
to as the CASPO report]. The entire area affected by the HF QLG pilot project
area falls within the CASPO analysis area.
The HF QLG Forest Recovery Act specifically states in section (c), subsection
(3) Compliance. -- All resource management activities required
by subsection (d) shall be implemented to the extent consistent with applicable
Federal law and the standards and guidelines for the conservation of the
California spotted owl as set forth in the California Spotted Owl Sierran
Province Interim Guidelines or the subsequently issued guidelines, whichever
are in effect.
At the present time, the CASPO Interim Guidelines are in effect.
The following guidelines can be found on pages III-2 to III-6 of the
Environmental Assessment. These guidelines cover the Eldorado, Lassen,
Plumas, Sequoia, Sierra, Stanislaus and Tahoe National Forests:
Maintain the base habitat contained within the SOHAs in accordance with
the Forest Land Management Plans. If a SOHA, or portion thereof, is rendered
unsuitable by a catastrophic event such as wildfire, remaining suitable
owl habitat within the SOHA shall be maintained as base habitat. However,
there is no requirement that these SOHAs either be replaced or that additional
habitat be added to the SOHAs.
On lands where these requirements are implemented, project-driven owl surveys
will not be required.
Establish a 300-acre Protected Activity Center (PAC) around all currentlyknown
spotted owl sites in the owl range. Within these PACs, no stand altering
activities will generally be allowed to occur except for some light fuels
management activities. The CASPO report stated that spotted owls are still
widely and fairly distributed throughout conifer forests of the western
Sierra Nevada. Therefore, establishment of PACs on known owl sites is sufficient
to maintain options for a longer-term strategy.
Within strata preferentially selected for nesting owls (selected strata)
which are outside of PACs, one commercial entry is allowed during the interim
period, no removal of live trees 30 inches in diameter breast height (dbh)
or larger is allowed and retention of 40 percent of the basal area and
canopy closure is maintained in the largest trees available.
Within strata utilized, but not preferred for nesting by owls (other strata),
one commercial entry is allowed during the interim period, no removal of
live trees 30 inches dbh or larger is allowed and retention of 30 percent
of the basal area (at least 50 square feet of basal area per acre) is retained
in the largest trees available.
In both the selected and other strata, the largest 4-8 snags (dead and/or
trees expected to die within six months) per acre are maintained (may be
averaged over the harvest unit). The number of snags to be left is dependent
on the diameter of snags available for retention. In addition, fuel treatments
to remove surface and ladder fuels and protect owl habitat is encouraged
and an average of at least 10-15 dry tons per acre of dead and down material
Adaptive management is allowed in two situations: (1) When a project-specific
biological evaluation demonstates that the objectives of the CASPO recommendations
may be better achieved through an alternative perscription, and (2) when
projects are designed as administrative studies and coordinated with the
Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (PSW), or with an
oversight team established for this purpose. On each National Forest, administrative
studies are limited to no more than two percent of the lands identified
as "suitable for timber production" in the Forest Land Management Plans.
For the Inyo and Modoc National Forests and for the Lake Tahoe Basin
Management Unit LTBMU:
For the Lassen, Plumas, Tahoe, Inyo and Modoc National Forests and for
The Modoc and Inyo National Forests, and the LTBMU contribute less than
one percent of the known owl sites on National Forest land in the Sierran
province. Owls surveys are required only within suitable owl habitat. If
owls are detected, their habitat will be managed in accordance with the
Modified Cumulative Effects Analysis (CEA) process described in Alternative
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Pure eastside pine habitat is not considered to be suitable and is not
analyzed in detail in the EA. However, there is a small subset of suitable
habitat within the eastside pine type (primarily fairly well-stocked pine
stands with a white fir understory). When a project is proposed within
this suitable area, the area will be surveyed for owls. Where owls are
detected, the area will be managed using the Modified CEA process.