Mattole Forest Futures & the PTEIR
In September 2011, the Mattole Forest Futures Project of the Mattole Restoration Council cleared the final hurdle with the approval of the Mattole Program Timberland Environmental Impact Report (PTEIR) from Cal-Fire. This watershed-wide permit gives landowners streamlined approval for their logging plans, provided their harvest meets significant light-touch standards.
The kinds of selective harvest that are part of the Mattole Forest Futures Project will support the recovery of the Mattole watershed in four important ways:
1. Logging would leave behind some of the largest trees in each stand and maintain forest cover over all of the wooded landscape, helping to develop bigger, older forests. In turn, those mature forests will provide habitat for threatened creatures whose populations were diminished by the post-World-War-Two logging boom.
2. Compared with clearcut forestry, which leads to forests being replanted to highly flammable young stands, forests logged as part of the Mattole Forest Futures Project will be less vulnerable to fire hazard, as they will be composed of older trees that are more fire-resistant.
3. Logging permits under the PTEIR will be less expensive, enabling landowners to realize the same net income while cutting less timber. In addition, because the permits will be cheaper to obtain, large landowners may be able to garner enough income from their land base that they will be less inclined to subdivide their land in order to maintain the financial stability of their operation.
4. Logging as part of the Mattole Forest Futures Project would require road upgrades to reduce sediment delivery into streams, providing a source of funds for ecologically necessary road work that may become harder to support with public money owing to the state’s financial difficulties.
There are currently three approved Program Timber Harvest Plans (PTHPs) in the Mattole. For more information see the Timber Harvest page under the Resources tab.