Friday, July 13, 2007

Logging Planned on Scotia Bluffs




Maxxam-Pacific Lumber foresters are flagging boundaries on a large logging plan on the Scotia Bluffs, near the company owned town of Scotia and across the river from Rio Dell. Both a Rio Dell resident and a Forest Defender I talked too came to the same conclusion after visiting the area, if the company cuts those trees the hillsides are going to come down into the Eel River.

The pink flags stamped with "Timber Harvest Boundary" run parallel and near to the edges of cliffs and landslides in some places and along the railroad tracks in others.

"They usually try to hide things like that," said the Forest Defender. "this time it's blatantly close to the river."

28 Comments:

At 7/17/2007 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Out of curiosity, what led them to come to the conclusion that the hillsides are going to come down into the river? Is the harvest proposed on an active landslide? Is the scour from the Eel River below a factor into the stability of the cliffs?

 
At 7/17/2007 04:03:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

You'd have to ask them.

 
At 7/18/2007 08:58:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

I always love these blogs scattered all over the Internet. I guess the "Rio Dell resident and a Forest Defender" were certified engineering geologist like the ones that PALCO has to have review their timber harvesting permits. I have viewed PALCO lands on a field trip and found that most information out there about PALCO is crap. Sorry, but true. I might have true decades ago, but not now!

I looked at a permit they were trying to logging and saw all of the areas that were historically unstable that had been removed from the permit, and they could not harvest, because the geologist identified these relic areas. These were not even currently active. The foresters throw those out before a geologist even gets there. I wish more people had the opportunity that I had to go and view PALCO lands and the HCP with other scientists. Maybe we wouldn’t have all of this misinformation.

 
At 7/18/2007 10:00:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

PL hasn't sent the document to the department of forestry yet so the details are unclear.
What is clear is the current placement of "Timber Harvest Boundary" flags near cliffs and landslides.

 
At 7/18/2007 10:00:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/18/2007 11:51:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

I agree that the flags could be right to the bluff, but that does not mean they will harvest right to the bluff. The permit I looked at had over 75% of the flagged in areas under no-cuts for geology. By saying they are harvesting the bluff, we are not being truthful.

 
At 7/18/2007 12:02:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

As I said before, we shall see when the plan is filed. I think the title "Logging Planned on Scotia Bluffs" is accurate given that much of the bluffs are surrounded by logging flags.

If the plan is filed and it turns out that PL flagged the bluffs for fun and wasn't really going to log there I'll report it.

 
At 7/18/2007 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Bolitho said...

Either way, it will be interesting to see what removing the vegetation from those bluffs will actually do. Regardless of how we may feel about logging in general, if they do get a plan approved on the top of those things, we can come up with a better assessment of how logging will effect those features after it is logged.

I think both you guys are right - 1) A geologist WILL look at that ground up there; and 2) If they flagged the unit boundary to the edge, it IS inside the THP.

So if after geologic evaluation they get the green light, then we will be able to say more.

Still, the Eel River I believe holds the real power in bring the cliffs down....not the trees - or lack there of - on top.

 
At 7/19/2007 08:58:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

Bolitho..........


I agree. I think that is when something like this should be posted. It is premature to say they are logging slides and bluffs when in fact no one actually knows until the permit is submitted, and even then we do not know what will be in the permit after the State and Federal governments have thier experts review and commment on the impacts. It just is not a whole truth at this time. I do not mean to be pissy about it, but I get tired of all of the whinning only to find out it is based off of misinformation.

 
At 7/19/2007 08:59:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

"Still, the Eel River I believe holds the real power in bring the cliffs down....not the trees - or lack there of - on top."

So true. That is how they got there in the first place!

 
At 7/19/2007 10:01:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Marin Dan, why the one man debate?

"It is premature to say they are logging slides and bluffs when in fact no one actually knows until the permit is submitted." -MD

I agree that it would be premature to conclude exactly what PL will and will not cut at this point, thats exactly why I didn't. I'm reporting what I've seen with my own eyes and what I've heared people say. I'm waiting until the plan is filed to see what PL is proposing.

 
At 7/20/2007 02:46:00 PM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

I have another question? What about landowner rights? Is it not against the law for people, John Doe #86 included, to be running around on other peoples properties. It would piss me off if you guys were running round in the oaks behind my house. If it isnt your's you have absolutely no right to be there.

 
At 7/20/2007 06:46:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

This isn't someones yard we're talking about, it's land controlled by a large corporation out of Texas that is stripping our county of it's natural richness.

Also, see Tresspassing 101 by Karen Sack

 
At 7/20/2007 11:55:00 PM, Blogger HUMBOLDT FOREST DEFENSE said...

I'm sure that the residents of Stafford that lost their homes in the 1996 landslide caused by PL would believe the opinions of a Rio Dell resident or an anonymous Forest Defender over PL's crack geologist team in regards to the effects of logging and slope degradation. Just because PL backs it's actions according to "expert opinion" or "professional analysis" does not mean that the obvious should be ignored or that reality should be thrown out the window.

 
At 7/23/2007 07:18:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

Thank you for saying that! So why would I want to believe a FOREST DEFENDER? The same people trying to stop logging at all costs. I have read the posts on IndyM. A Rio Dell resident? Hopefully not the same one that tried to buy crack off of me in front of the Burger Stand in Rio Dell when I was there. That town has an interesting population to say the least.

Point of clarification: doesn't the California State also have authorities that are certified to review the work done by PALCO. Won't this plan get reviewed by actual State or Federal experts rather than just PALCO and a Rio Dell resident or an anonymous Forest Defender??? I hope to God so!!! At least the PALCO geologist has a certification and education in the field of discussion.

As far as trespassing goes, it is still PALCO's private property, just like your yard, and you’re still illegally trespassing.

Crap, I have turned into a logging advocate on this thread, but I cannot stand this misinformation.

Now that we have brought out education, I have a B.S. from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Animal Science and a M.S. in Education from UC Riverside. Just to clear the record and obviously not making me an expert.

 
At 7/23/2007 08:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marin Dan, it has been well-established that logging activities (tree removal, yarding, skidding, road-building, etc) sometimes cause or contribute to landsliding or erosion. CDF acknowledges this, as do CGS, RWB, F&G, and other agencies. Even PL and virtually all of their consultants agree with this. It is broadly accepted as true.

Those THPs which do result in land-sliding and erosion, such as the Stafford THP, are reviewed and inspected just like all the rest. Therefore, the fact that a number of engineers and geologists have looked at it is simply no assurance. In fact, every single THP which has ever resulted in landsliding or erosion has had either the active or tacit approval of CGS geologists.

It is important to keep in mind that the role of geologic engineers in reviewing a THP is not to tell PL where they cannot log, but rather to help them access timber that they otherwise could not. Their job is not to say 'no," but to say 'how.' In this way, there is a very real argument that the involvment of geologic consultants actually increases landsliding risk. It certainly is no assurance of safety.

 
At 7/23/2007 08:51:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

Anonymous

Sounds like the State is dropping the ball and not doing their jobs! I work on EIR/EIS reports locally when not teaching and this is not an acceptable practice here, and should not be there.

The map I looked at for Stafford does not reflect a Stafford THP and it looks like the slide started on a Mr. Barnum's land and crept up slope as it slide out onto the PALCO ownership? Might just be the report I was reading which was off of the Net.

I still believe PALCO has the right to log their lands. It is the State's job to insure the public trust is being maintained. If this is not the case wee need to fire those doing the reviews and get someone in there that can do the job right. They are supposed to be insuring this is all on the up and up for us...the PUBLIC.

I guess we can blame PALCO all we want, but I feel it is the State’s job to uphold the public trust. If PALCO is knowingly/illegally filling erroneous documents, then prove it and have those peoples thrown in jail, but until then we cannot go around slandering people without proof...

 
At 7/23/2007 09:47:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Comparing the Stafford slide in 96' to this current THP seems unjustified. First of all we all need to appreciate the fact that in 1996 - even though it was not that long ago - the regulations in the CAFPA were not was stringent as they are today. This statement is not intended in any way down play that event, but it is true, and becuase of that event (among other issues) the rules have been revised to prevent things like that form happening again.

In allot of ways this appears to be working. I also think that the fact that PALCO is owned by an out of town Corporation is not relevant to any given THP. We all are aware of the PL takeover - which was like 25 years ago. How does it help to constantly state the obvious?

Is CDF and other agencies doing their jobs? Yes. Is it reasonable to expect that occasionally something may be missed? Sure. Now obviously Stafford was a hudge $@#$-up, with huge consequences. However considering that 2-300 THPs are operated on in any given year in Humboldt, it would appear that significant impacts like Stafford are rare.

Following Stafford, geologic evaluation has increased ten fold. It will help everyone to accept this, and to understand that as humans we can learn from our errors, and move on.

As someone who prepares and administers THPs for a living (non-PALCO) - Trust Me - the review is indepth, intense, and real. Of course there is some things that are missed occasionally - but this is not on purpose. For example on a recent plan of mine, We found out that one of my watercourses was a II instead of a III. The logger realized this this prior to operations, and I amended the plan aordingly and thus protected the resouce. Does this mean that someone did not due their job? No, it just shows that the system is set up to to be pro-active when something like this happens. Fix it, make it right etc. There is liability for the various parties - LTO, RPF, landowner etc...

No one wants to get in trouble - and more so, people deep down want to do the right thing. Which they do most of time.

 
At 7/24/2007 07:11:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/24/2007 07:13:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/24/2007 07:15:00 AM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

That sounds more like the system I thought we had! Then are we just trying to stop PALCO's permit on this blog? Or, are we just targeting PALCO period. I finally see SPI on here, but what about Green Diamond??? They are twice the size of PALCO and nearly exclusively clear cut!!! Have you seen some of there harvest in the Klamath and along Highway 299?

I have a very active interest in this logging since we took our field trip to the north with the other teachers. I just find it slanted towards PALCO and honestly see a bias that is justified by Maxxam, but Green Diamond is owned by out of state owners and no the Simpson Family that owns then is not the Simpson Family that started Simpson Timber Co. They are totally different. How do I know? I asked!

 
At 7/26/2007 10:01:00 AM, Blogger HUMBOLDT FOREST DEFENSE said...

Personally, I feel that PL is a main focus due to the fact that Green Diamond/Simpson has already ruined most of their land through clearcutting and herbicide. The trees that they haul out are usually no bigger than beanpoles. This does not mean that Green Dimescam should not be monitored or challenged.
As far as landslides go, all you have to do is open your eyes. Look at all the fresh cuts taking place on steep slopes, and I bet 90% of the time you will find a fresh slide. A great example of an expanding slide feeding into the Eel River can be seen looking south over the Scotia PL plant from the Scotia onramp. PL cannot even control slides in their own backyard. There are few places left to log, so PL is logging places that should not be logged, like the STEEP hillsides of the Scotia Bluffs!
Corruption is rampant in our government, including regulatory agencies. Do you really believe that CDF and other agencies are not influenced by timber lobbyists and special interest groups?
Logging can be done sustainably, but that is not happening on a large scale. The destruction that is happening can only be ignored by non-residents,the ignorant, the complacent,...

 
At 7/26/2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger HUMBOLDT FOREST DEFENSE said...

PS. Here is a recent opinion published in the Times-Standard in regards to Green Dimescam...

http://www.times-standard.com/ci_6381836?IADID=Search-www.times-standard.com-www.times-standard.com

 
At 7/26/2007 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

I love it! Dimescam! Still they have amazing lands left, just not so close to a road. Just cause you cannot see doesnt mean it isnt there. They showed them to us on our trip.

We asked about the slide at Scotia to the locals and it started in the 1964 flood and is activated by the river. My ignorance, but how did logging cause that? It might have, but I need educated.

 
At 7/31/2007 08:08:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Humboldt forest Defense~

That slide behind PALCO was caused solely by the Eel River. You see, rivers, produce a lot of energy, especially in the winter when the flows are high. In places like behind Scotia there, the Eel takes a sharp turn, where the flow of the river scours into the side of the hill. This scour undercuts the hillside which in turn will trigger landsliding events. This hydrologic process can be observed along most north coast rivers, especially the Eel and the Van Duzen. [Note the difference between this and the infamous Staford Slide, where this was not occurring]

Road building activities can increase these processes, but please slow down a bit before just blaming every thing you see on the Big Bad Wolf. No one is saying that there have not been impacts, or that mitigations are unnecessary on current projects. I would suggest to everyone who is passionate about these issues to take a Watershed Assessment or Hydrology class at one of our local colleges.

And - one more thing, what Timber Lobby are you referring to? Im just curious. It would seem to me that if in fact there was this all powerful timber lobby that the Forest Practice Act, Forest Practice Rules, The (P&C) Water Quality Act, the CEQA, and the DFG Code related to timber harvesting activities would not be as nearly restrictive, and certainly not updated every year with new rules with further restrictions. Again perhaps interested parties should do some research into these sections of code and regulation.

When I think of a "Lobby", I think Energy, Coal, Gold, Oil...not timber. You think ole Bush gives a flying $%*& about timber? Arnold? No way. There is no collective "timber industry" with any political weight on the North Coast. Maybe up north - but even that is sketchy. The closest all powerful timber industry is most likely in Canada, and perhaps in pulp country (southern US).

 
At 7/31/2007 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

It's all about PALCO. Even if they were the greenest company in California, the so called "forest defenders" still wouldnt blik an eye at the oversized Sierra Pacific and Green DIamond Clearcuts. Instead they want to bitch about PALCO.

 
At 8/09/2007 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The practice used to be to hide the logging from the general public leaving a line of trees on either sides of all roads so that most people were ignorant of the ravage. I guess there's no point in bothering anymore. It's about what's easiest to get at.

 
At 8/14/2007 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Marin Dan said...

"The practice used to be to hide the logging from the general public leaving a line of trees on either side of all roads so that most people were ignorant of the ravage. I guess there's no point in bothering anymore. It's about what's easiest to get at."

Wrong again. When reviewing a plan of PALCO's I asked that very question and was showed both in the permit and in the rules when it is required to leave those trees. Additionally, most of the strips along the highway are actually owned by CalTrans as easements. The timber companies cannot cut them. I saw a plan on PALCO near Redwood State Park that required trees be left as a visual easement for people traveling down highway 101 on PALCO. Again, misinformation guys! Let’s get it right before we spread this crap around!

 

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