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Ask your elected representatives to urge Federal Agencies to Comment on Logging Plans on the Gualala River

Update: August 6
Thanks to efforts by Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg, State Senator Mike McGuire, Congressman Jared Huffman and others, the deadline for public comments on THP 1-15-042 “Dogwood” has been extended for at least 30 days on grounds that CAL FIRE found “discrepancies” in the plan.

Dear Friends of the Gualala River,

You may be aware that Gualala Redwoods, Inc. / Gualala Redwood Timber, LLC (GRI / GRT) has two logging plans up for review that threaten the endangered salmonids in the Gualala River. In addtion to cutting trees, including more than 100 acres of clear cutting, the proposed logging will threaten federally protected, endangered fish by allowing more sediment to enter the river, raise the water temperature of the Gualala and pump water from the river during the dry months. The impact of these activities is exacerbated by the current drought.

Inexplicably, the federal agencies responsible for review of logging plans have thus far failed to comment on these plans, although they have objected to and blocked much less harmful plans in the past. Therefore we are asking you to contact your elected representatives (ex: Congressman Jared Huffman), so they can urge the agencies to comment on the harmful logging plans.

Unfortunately, not all elected officials provide an email address to permit direct contact. Here are the step-by-step instructions to send a message to Congressman Huffman:

  1. Use the following link to reach him: https://huffman.house.gov/contact/email-me
  2. Fill out your zip code including the 4 digit extension, readily available from the USPS and hit “Next”
  3. Fill out your name, address and email, subject and title for your message. A suggested subject from the drop down is “Environment and Natural Resources”. A suggested title is “Responsible Federal Agencies are not Commenting on Logging Plans on the Gualala River.
  4. Include your comments. Suggested comments are in the box below.
  5. Replace “A Concerned Citizen” with your name, if you wish.
Dear Representative Huffman:The two federal agencies responsible for monitoring logging activities (NOAA/NMFS and USFWS) have not yet provided comments on two destructive timber harvest plans in the Gualala River floodplain. These logging plans (designated by Calfire 1-15-033 SON and 1-15-042 SON) have been proposed by GRI and are very harmful to the federally protected salmonids in the Gualala River.In 1993, the USEPA included the Gualala River in the federal Clean Water Act §303(d) list of impaired water bodies due to declines in anadromous salmonids as a result of excessive sedimentation and high water temperature. Logging activities will both add sediment to the Gualala and remove tree cover which will increase the water temperature, deadly to the federally protected fish.

Three of the anadromous species protected by the recent extension of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are threatened by these logging plans. The federal Fish and Wildlife Service and Natioinal Marine Fisheries Service have not yet commented on the plans in order to provide their expertise.

These logging plans include drafting tens of thousands of gallons of water per day from the Gualala River which will lower the stream level and further impact the federally protected salmonids. This use of water is especially problematic in the ongoing drought conditions in California.

Please urge these federal agencies to review these logging plans and utilize their expertise to provide comments to Calfire so that the environmental regulations we have struggled to establish may be enforced and the species in the Marine Sanctuary are protected.

Sincerely,
A Concerned Citizen