community watershed restoration since 1983

Van Auken Timber Harvest Plan

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The MRC is reviewing the Van Auken/Arken Timber Harvest Plan (THP) 1-16-081HUM through the public comment process. This is a big plan, especially considering the type of activities that are proposed. The forests are barely beginning to recover with trees averaging 55-70 years old. The landowner, Boyle (Barnum), has proposed harvesting over 500 acres that will pockmark the landscape in tributary watersheds in the Mattole headwaters with some units in the Eel River watershed. There are 36 units total, with almost 200 ac

Photo Credit: Galen Doherty, Sanctuary Forest

Photo Credit: Galen Doherty, Sanctuary Forest

res being clearcut and another 100 being rehabilitated. This will mean almost 300 acres of cleared ground when operations are completed. The entire plan will use tractors or ground-based equipment to remove logs with an option to use cable yarding. Other flags include multiple stream crossings, some steep slopes, and the use of herbicides.

The MRC urges the public to comment on this plan. The process is open until at least December 2016. To understand the public comment process, go to the CAL FIRE website here:

http://calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_forestpractice_thpreviewprocess

It is particularly important to understand the plan through the eyes of the Pre-Harvest Inspection reports. To view the contents of the plan and any reports filed go here:

ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/THPs/THPs2016/1-16-081HUM/

Several of the tributaries: Van Arken, McKee and Ravashoni are part of a campaign by Sanctuary Forest to purchase the property for conservation. The forests and the entire Van Arken tributary would be protected into the future nurturing salmon, amphibians, and forest creatures for all of us. MRC cannot stress enough the importance of this project to our watershed. For more information, please go here:

http://www.sanctuaryforest.org/savevanarken/

To download a sample letter, click this  attachment sample-comment-letter-vanarken