by Amie Windsor
August 21, 2015
© copyright 2015, Independent Coast Observer
reprinted with permission
More information around the extended comment period for timber harvest plan (THP) 1-15-042-SON, also known as “Dogwood,” has emerged: according to Cal Fire Deputy Chief Leslie Markham, the comment period has not been extended, as previously reported in the ICO. Rather, a new comment period will begin at a yet-to-be-determined date.
Cal Fire needs more information from the registered professional forester, a contractor with Gualala Redwoods Timber (GRT); after reviewing the current THP, Cal Fire realized some information, such as addresses of adjacent landowners, is missing.
According to Henry Alden, forest manager for GRT, none of that information is “significant in the eyes of the critics” of the THP.
One major issue revolves around the address of the Gualala Redwoods Campground, whose address is listed incorrectly on the THP. Because the campground’s address was listed incorrectly, the campground never received notice of the THP.
“Our intent was to notify everyone,” Alden said. “We want to notify people.”
According to Markham, Cal Fire will send a letter out to GRT requesting the changes to be made to the THP. Once those changes are made, the plan will be recirculated. Alden believes the changes will be made by GRT by the week after next, should Cal Fire’s letter be received this week, as Markham said it would be.
“Notices [of the new THP] will be sent out to all adjacent landowners, invested agencies and those who have commented already,” Markham said. At that time, the new comment period will be open for a period of at least 30 days.
The Dogwood THP from Gualala Redwood Timber (GRT) requests, among many items, to draft up to 25,000 gallons of water a day from the South Fork of the Gualala River. It also calls to harvest approximately 330 trees from the Gualala watershed area, including where the Gualala River Watershed Council’s Day on the River is celebrated each June, according to Alden.
Markham said public comment received for Dogwood after the deadline will still be put in the file and considered; however, she strongly suggested waiting until the new THP is recirculated, since “concerns may be addressed” in the updated THP.