community watershed restoration since 1983

Timber Harvest and 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 .

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. The timber harvest permit process under the PTEIR will be less expensive, enabling landowners to realize the same net income while cutting less timber. In addition, because the process will be cheaper, landowners with larger acreages 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 financial stability.

4. Logging as part of the Mattole Forest Futures Project could 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. Two have been implemented, the results of which should be available soon.

For the full Mattole PTEIR document go here:

For more on the specific provisions about the Mattole PTEIR download the files below.