on THP 1-00-484 SON – Haupt Creek
February 5, 2003
California Department of Forestry
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Re: 1-00-484 SON – Haupt Creek, Wheatfield Fork, Gualala River
On behalf of the members of Friends of the Gualala River, we urge California Department of Forestry (CDF) to follow the numerous recommendations of the Review Team Agencies (California Geological Survey, California Department of Fish and Game and North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board) with respect to Timber Harvest Plan 1-00-484 SON (THP 1-00-484 SON).
In particular, we want to ensure that Forest Practice Rule 919.16(a) is strictly enforced, to provide maximum protection for the old growth coastal redwood stand targeted by this THP.
There is almost no undisturbed, structural old growth coastal redwood forest left in the Gualala River watershed. In fact, as noted by the Registered Professional Forester (RPF), this stand represents a significant fraction (1%) of all the remaining undisturbed, structural old growth in the state of California. It is vital to protect what very little remains.
Because there is so little old growth left in California, our Forest Practice Rules require very thorough description and analysis of how the proposed harvesting would affect the existing functional wildlife habitat, including impacts on vegetation structure, connectivity, and fragmentation. This contiguous stand of old growth coastal redwood is surely a refuge for many species. The proposed harvesting would devastate the local populations of these species, and therefore must not be permitted.
The Gualala River, the Wheatfield Fork, and Haupt Creek are already on the State’s 303(d) list as sediment impaired and are proposed for listing as temperature impaired. The widespread community support of past and current projects to mitigate these existing problems serve as evidence that approval of this plan, as is, could very well constitute a violation of the Public Trust obligations of CDF. We believe that the risk of greater erosion and loss of habitat is an unjustifiable imposition on the River and the communities that depend upon it for recreation, water and natural beauty.
Friends of the Gualala River will observe closely the process by which CDF will assess the recommendations of the Review Teams and comply with and strictly enforce relevant provisions of the Forest Practices Act with respect to this THP.
Ursula Jones, Vice President
Friends of the Gualala River
CC: Dr. Andrea E. Tuttle, Director, CDF