P.O. Box 67
Gualala, CA 95445
11 May 2000
To: David Colfax, 5th District Supervisor
From: Jim Lotter, GMAC Chair
Re: Recommendation for County Action with Regard to Timber Harvest Plan (THP) #1-00-101 MEN, Gualala Redwoods, Inc. Owner
On Monday, May 8th, at our regular meeting, the Council voted 6-0 to recommend that the County of Mendocino participate in a review the issues pertaining to the referenced THP, and urge that California Division of Forestry (CDF) to delay signing/ approving this THP until 1 July 2000, at which time, we understand, more stringent Forest Practice Rules (FPRs) pertaining to harvesting timber adjoining streams and rivers are scheduled to take effect.
The draft Gualala Town Plan mandates that the County work to protect and restore the fisheries in the Gualala River. For that reason the GMAC held this hearing. Around 40 people, the largest audience in several years, attended our hearing to listen to the presentation of Gualala Redwoods, Inc. on this THP and provide input. The consensus reached by the audience and the Council is reflected by our recommendation above.
This THP covers a plan to select-cut harvest timber in a cluster of small areas (totaling 181 acres) adjoining the North Fork and Little North Fork of the Gualala River. These two tributaries of the Gualala are the only ones known to still contain coho salmon. The salmon populations in these streams are not high. The fishery is seriously threatened in many north coast rivers including the Gualala. The fear in our community is that unless extreme care is taken in harvesting timber close to these tributaries, damage might be done that could further weaken the salmon’s tenuous existence. Hence our desire to see this THP comply with the more stringent FPRs becoming effective on 1 July.
A suggested mechanism for participation by the County in this matter would be to have the County Water Agency provide input to CDF, and to have the project examined by the County Fish & Game Commission. We urge that the Board of Supervisors direct that these bodies participate in the review/monitoring of this THP. We also request that they provide both the Board and the GMAC with information about their efforts and the results.
Henry Alden, Gualala Redwoods, Inc.
Rodger Thompson, California Division of Forestry & Fire Protection (CDF)
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)