Home » Forestry » The Viewshed of Annapolis Road

The Viewshed of Annapolis Road

by Chris Poehlmann, October, 2020

viewshed” noun. An area that is visible from a certain vantage point, especially when considered valuable or worth preserving for aesthetic reasons.

Two new plans have just been submitted to log the forest along Annapolis Road that will degrade large areas of the viewshed of one of our most treasured scenic roads.

The view of the hills from Annapolis Road and adjacent to The Sea Ranch before and after “Twin Bridges” will be an eyesore for decades to come if the two new timber harvests plans (THPs) by Gualala Redwoods Timber company are allowed as submitted — see photos below.

The “Shep’s Opening” and “Spruce” THPs, respectively numbered; 1-20-00144-SON and 1-20-xxxx-SON (plan number not yet assigned) will both log next to Annapolis Road for more than a mile. This area’s largest trees will be cut, leaving thin, fire-prone forest on the ground and visual blight plainly visible from the road.

1-20-00144-SON “Shep’s Opening” THP.
Annapolis Road is the dark dashed line along the right hand side of the bottom harvest unit. Valley Crossing, aka Twin Bridges. Watercourse 1 in the legend is the Wheatfield fork of the Gualala River. The south fork and the Wheatfield fork join at Valley Crossing below arrow.

 

The plans have been submitted to CalFire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Forest Practice Rules include protections against cumulative impacts to six different vital resources, one of them is “Visual Resources.”

1-20-xxxx-SON “Spruce” THP (to be filed soon).
Annapolis Road is contiguous with the lower boundary of this THP, in red.
(FYI, there are no spruce trees in the Gualala River watershed.)

 

The footprints of these plans can and should be changed so as to protect the public’s viewshed on this beautiful drive up through the recovering redwood forest, an inspiring public treasure that can be protected by adding buffer zones to the borders of these plans with minor financial impact to the applicant.

Please, quickly send in your comments asking for scenic resource protections on these plans using the identifying numbers.

Send to Calfire at:

SantaRosaPublicComment@fire.ca.gov
or by mail to:
CalFire, 135 Ridgway Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA  95401

And to Sonoma County 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins at:

district5@sonoma-county.org
or by mail to:
Supervisor Hopkins, 575 Administration Dr., Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Your short letter added to others from our community will help convince those with power to prevent this damage to our beautiful area and its scenic roads.

The young, over-harvested, and still recovering forest along this scenic road. It needs lighter touch management to attain a mix of all age classes of trees, higher stocking levels, and protections for the similarly highly impacted plant and animal community of which it is a part.

 

Pink ribbon denotes borders of Timber Harvest Plans. Spruce THP, Twin Bridges
in the distance.

 

The view from the Spruce THP’s roadside boundary on Annapolis Road looking north
over to the forest marked for the Shep’s Opening THP across the river.

 

Just above Annpolis Road ~20 feet. Shep’s Opening THP.

 

Pink boundary flagging next to road. Timber marking yet to occur. Spruce THP.

 

Pink boundary flagging next to Annapolis Road, Spruce THP.

 

Next to Annapolis Road a view of the recently cut “Hazel” THP across the road from the new “Spruce”THP. Largest trees always cut, “matchstick” trees left behind.

 

Stumps next to road, Hazel THP.

 

The view standing on Annapolis Road. This is the “Hazel” THP across the road from the
new proposed Spruce THP.

 

View from roadside, Hazel THP 2019

 

Hazel THP 2019

 

Pink boundary flagging on the Spruce THP directly across the
road from the Hazel THP.

 

Spruce boundary flag next to Annapolis Road with big redwood behind.

 

Hazel THP from above Annapolis Road. A “selection” cut. Slash left behind. Ladder fuel.

 

Pink flagging on big redwood for boundary of Spruce THP coming up Annapolis Road
near The Sea Ranch.

 

Spruce THP boundary next to Annapolis Road.

 

View from bridge to north and the forest on the ridge to be cut in “Shep’s Opening” THP.

 

Entrance to Bedrock gravel mining operation at Twin Bridges. Shep’s Opening THP is on the far ridge, center and left.

 

Pink boundary flagging adjacent to Annapolis Road. “Shep’s Opening” THP ~20 feet away.

 

Boundary line ~20 away from Annapolis Road looking east.

 

Redwood marked for “Shep’s Opening” THP.