Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



WE POST NEWS THREE WAYS:
1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
2. short messages on Twitter
3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

rails to trails along the North Coast's Eel River?

Eel River group wants NCRA's tracks for trails

(The Ukiah Daily Journal, 1/18/11)

"A grass-roots effort is under way to rip out the rails and ties along the North Coast Railroad Authority corridor from Willits north to Humboldt Bay, and convert the corridor to a non-motorized trail." The founder of the Eel River Trails Association said one of four options "is to petition federal authorities to find the railway abandoned, beginning a 20-day period in which a predetermined agency could step up and ask to preserve the right-of-way for California -- possibly the Bureau of Land Management, among other agencies."

By TIFFANY REVELLE The Daily Journal 01/18/2011

http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_17125043
A grass-roots effort is under way to rip out the rails and ties along the North Coast Railroad Authority corridor from Willits north to Humboldt Bay, and convert the corridor to a non-motorized trail. The process is called "rail banking," and has been done on more than about 19,000 miles of national railroad, contends Chris Weston, founder of the Eel River Trails Association, which is spearheading the effort. "This is one of the unusual cases where Northern California is behind the curve," Weston said. He argues that insisting the corridor should be used for a freight line isn't "intellectually honest," since efforts to restore the rail have been slow since the NCRA began its effort in the '80s after flooding debilitated the railway in 1967. He cites mounting rubble in one of the corridor's tunnels, geological unsoundness and lack of funding as reasons the NCRA's efforts aren't feasible. Rail banking the corridor would leave open the possibility that rail service could be restored when funding is available, Weston noted.

In the meantime, the Eel River Trails Association envisions a walking, hiking, biking and horseback riding trail, possibly with coffee shops, restrooms, horse stables, and a credit-card-like system where users fund the upkeep and swipe a card at intermediate points to let authorities know where they are.

In the roughly month's time the group has existed, it's gathered more than 5,000 signatures on a petition to convert the rail corridor to a trail, according to Weston. He said most of the signatures come from residents north of Mendocino County's portion of the approximately 150-mile section of the NCRA corridor in question, but include "hundreds" of Willits signatures. But NCRA authorities contend those signatures may be irrelevant. "Five thousand signatures is interesting," said NCRA board member Hal Wagenette of Willits, the former Mendocino County supervisor who was appointed to the authority's board of directors by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. "It's the larger interest that must be served." The NCRA is under a state mandate to restore freight service to the 314-mile rail corridor, which stretches from its interchange with the national rail system just south of Napa, north to Eureka, according to NCRA Executive Director Mitch Stogner. So far, 62 miles on the southern end of that corridor is restored and could be running freight by March, he said, pending the results of a safety inspection by the Federal Railroad Administration. That stretch runs from the Napa interchange east to Novato and north to Windsor.

That southern segment of the NCRA right-of-way is included in an environmental impact report that covers the corridor all the way north to Willits, where the NCRA plans to restore freight service next, according to Stogner. He expects the roughly $3 million EIR will be certified in the next few months. North of Willits, however, the future is uncertain. "Three things need to happen before we can make a decision on that," Stogner said. The contractor that will operate the trains on the railway, Northwestern Pacific Company, needs to first write a business plan that includes freight volumes sufficient to justify the cost of repairing and maintaining the rail line north of Willits. "That (cost) could be significant, because the geology of the area is very difficult; it's prone to land slides," Stogner said, referring to the Island Mountain area along the Eel River corridor.

Second, the company needs to identify funds for the project; and third, the NCRA needs to pay for another EIR covering that segment of the railway, according to Stogner. "That has to occur before we can do anything north of Willits," he said. "Therein lie many challenges." Those decisions could be 10 years away from now, according to Stogner. In the meantime, he says, the NCRA needs to understand the legal ramifications of rail banking and decide whether it's open to the idea.

"The policy of the NCRA is rails with trails," he said, noting the state mandate prohibits replacing rails with trails. Weston said it may not be entirely up to the NCRA, however. He named four possible options for converting the railway to a non-motorized trail. The best option, he said, is that the NCRA goes along with the idea. Weston hopes to present the idea at a March meeting of the authority's board of directors in Eureka.Stogner said Monday he hadn't received a written request to agendize the discussion. The trails group could also appeal to the state legislature, according to Weston. Another option is to petition federal authorities to find the railway abandoned, beginning a 20-day period in which a predetermined agency could step up and ask to preserve the right-of-way for California -- possibly the Bureau of Land Management, among other agencies.

The fourth option is taking the question to court, which Weston said is "conceptually possible."

Developer threatens San Joaquin River Park

Act now to protect the San Joaquin River Parkway
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
from http://riverparkway.org

Dear Parkway Supporter,

On Tuesday, February 1, 2011, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors will vote on the Friant Ranch Development Project. This project, located across Friant Road from Lost Lake Park, will develop 2500 homes along with associated streets and utilities. This project will dramatically impact Lost Lake Park by concentrating a large group of users directly across from the park entrance. The project will also impact the park with the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in the riverbottom adjacent to Lost Lake Park.


Please contact the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to voice your concerns about the threat the Friant Ranch Development poses to the San Joaquin River Parkway. You can contact Board Chairman Supervisor Phil Larson by clicking here to send your email:  jbarlow@co.fresno.ca.us

The River Parkway Trust has two primary concerns with the Friant Ranch Project:

The Wastewater Treatment Plant will be in the Riverbottom and Blights Lost Lake Park: Friant Ranch proposes to build a waste water treatment plant in the riverbottom and immediately adjacent to Lost Lake Park. The plant would have a 20,000 square foot industrial processing plant, plus it will empty its waste water into huge gravel pits surrounding Lost Lake Park. We find the combination of the potential water quality impacts, not to mention the offensive scenic impacts, to be unacceptable. The plant will be BIG, big enough to handle the waste from the 2,500 homes of Friant Ranch, plus the whole Friant community, including any future expansion. The location brings the possibility of contaminants from pharmaceuticals and other chemicals leaching their way to the river, affecting fish and families alike. The developers have other options for locating the plant. Why take the risk of locating it in the riverbottom?

Nothing's In Place to Help Parks-The Friant Ranch development is designed for new home buyers that want to take advantage of its location adjacent to Lost Lake Park, the San Joaquin River Parkway, and Millerton State Park. Yet the Friant Ranch project did not study what impacts its 6,000 new residents will have on these public resources nor is there anything in place to help pay for Park impacts. Why should our public parks bear the extra burden?


For these reasons, the Trust's Board of Directors asks for your help to let the Board of Supervisors know that the Friant Ranch Project is a bad idea. We join with many other civic groups and agencies including, Revive the San Joaquin, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Fresno County Democratic Party, Central Valley Water and the Consortium and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Here's what you can do:
1. Email the Fresno County Board of Supervisors today. Click here to email Board Chairman Supervisor Phil Larson.
2. Come to the public hearing, Tuesday, February 1 at 2:00pm. The meeting will be held at the Fresno County Hall of Records, 2281 Tulare St, Room 301.

With good planning, we can have vibrant communities and a healthy San Joaquin River Parkway. Write to your County Supervisors today!

On behalf of our Board of Directors,


Dave Koehler, Executive Director




http://www.riverparkway.org

For 22 years, the Trust has been working to create a 22-mile Parkway along the San Joaquin River. Support from our members and volunteers, and grants from public agencies, have enabled us to protect over 3,500 acres of open land for people living in the Fresno/Madera area and restore hundreds of acres for the plants and animals that live in and along the river.

http://www.facebook.com/SJRPCT


http://parkwayview.wordpress.com/ THEIR NEW BLOG

Since our founding in 1988, we've been working, with support from friends like you, to create a 22-mile Parkway along the San Joaquin River. We want to leave a legacy of open space for the rapidly urbanizing Fresno/Madera region.

7132 Acres of Development Rights purchased in Tehama County

Ranches Conserved in Tehama County




January 26, 2011
(Chico, CA) – The Northern California Regional Land Trust (NCRLT) has acquired two voluntary conservation easements protecting two working ranches and approximately 7,132 contiguous acres of rangeland in western Tehama County, approximately 15 miles west of Red Bluff. Hailed as a “hallmark conservation project for the region” by Executive Director Jamison Watts, these easements will preserve the region’s ranching tradition and ecological values that are present today for future generations of Californians. Funding for the purchase of the two easements was provided by the California Wildlife Conservation Board in the amount of $3.9 million.

Among the resources conserved, the “Red Bank Project” will permanently protect 4,275 contiguous acres of oak woodland as well as annual grassland, working farmland, chamise-redshank chaparral, spring-fed wetlands, intermittent and perennial streams, riparian habitat along Red Bank Creek and North Fork Elder Creek, scenic open space, and habitat supporting several special-status species including valley elderberry longhorn beetle, foothill yellow-legged frog, and California red-legged frog. The project also provides an essential buffer along approximately 7,000 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and Mendocino National Forest, helping to prevent the area from being compromised by incompatible land use or development. As with all of its conservation easements, NCRLT will hold and monitor the easements into the future.

FOR FULL PRESS RELEASE:
http://landconservation.org/pressreleases.php

http://www.landconservation.org/ncrltpreserves.php

PROPERTIES INVOLVED:
Burrows Ranch
In December 2010, NCRLT acquired a 3,356-acre conservation easement on the Burrows Ranch in western Tehama County.
Big Bluff Ranch
In December 2010, NCRLT acquired a 3,776-acre conservation easement on the Big Bluff Ranch in western Tehama County. Family owned since 1960, Big Bluff Ranch has transitioned from a seasonal farming and stocker cattle operation into a sustainably managed ranch utilizing year-round grazing and the Holistic Management Model.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jan & Feb 2011 State open space deals...

State Buying up more Wildlife Preserves and Development Rights



WHAT’S BEING SAVED:

Siskiyou County—5929 acre conservation easement at Little Shasta River

Humboldt County---2903 acre conservation easement at Charles Mountain Ranch in southeast Humboldt county

Mendocino County
—13,913 acre conservation easement at Gualala River

--45,576 acre conservation easement at the Usal Forest

--disburse up to $3,000,000 to Save-the-Redwoods League to acquire approximately 957 acres known as the Shady Dell Creek Tract, as part of the 50,635-acre Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Project in northern Mendocino County. http://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/pdf/sccbb/1101bb/20110120Board05_Shady_Dell_Creek_Acquisition.pdf

(NOTE: the Usal forest was purchased from the Hawthorne Timber Company in 2007 by the Redwood Forests Foundation in order to preserve it as a sustainably logged forest. The funds from the State will help pay off the loans which were used to buy the land.)

--disburse up to $2,500,000 to The Conservation Fund to acquire the approximately 464-acre Smith Tract portion of the Ten Mile Ranch, located adjacent to the Ten Mile River, Mendocino County.

Yuba County—833 acre conservation easement in the Yuba Highlands

Contra Costa County—798 acres—Barron property south of Pittsburg

Ventura County:
disburse up to $500,000 to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy to acquire and prepare a stewardship plan for 70 acres of the Hollingsworth Ranch property along the Ventura River in unincorporated Ventura County.

Los Angeles County
118 acres at Cold Creek in Malibu
151 acres in Claremont
8 acres in Rubio Canyon in Altadena

Riverside County
92 acre conservation easement at Mystic Lake (Ramona)
40 acres at Big Morongo canyon
71 acres near Hemet, Western Riverside exp 5

San Diego County
132 acres in Potrero
89 acres in East Elliot and Otay Mesa
1081 acres at Jacumba Peak
278 acre conservation easement in Mendenhall Valley—Palomar Mountain
385 acres in San Felipe Valley north of Julian


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To read the full agendas,
Wildlife Conservation Board, February 24, 2011
FOR MAPS OF WCB PURCHASES: https://goo.gl/photos/9akMd2P2oLy1mTzV8

Coastal Conservancy, 1/20/2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

L.A Mountains update...

New Parks, Trails, and Development threats in the Santa Monica Mountains

from agenda of SMMC 1/24/2011
http://smmc.ca.gov/attachment.asp?agendaid=343

STUDIO CITY--UNIVERSAL STUDIOS--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to City and County of Los Angeles on NBC Universal Evolution Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (sch No. 2007071036), City of Los Angeles. [Map 1] [Map 2] [Attachment ] [Resolution] [Map 3] [Map 4] [Comment Letter]

BEL AIR--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to City of Los Angeles on Notice of Preparation of Environmental Impact Report for the Bel Air Presbyterian Church Preschool (env-2009-3085-eir), City of Los Angeles. [Comment Letter] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Map]

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY--MALIBU--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to Los Angeles County on Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Pepperdine Campus Life Project (sch No. 2008041123), watersheds of Marie/Winter/Middle canyons, unincorporated Malibu area. [Attachment] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Attachment 4] [Attachment 5] [Attachment 6] [Attachment 7] [Resolution] [Attachment 8] [Comment Letter]

SOUTH PASADENA--ARROYO SECO TRAIL--Consideration of resolution authorizing a grant of Proposition 84 funds to the City of South Pasadena for Arroyo Seco trail project planning and design, South Pasadena. [Map] [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment]

LECHUZA BEACH--MALIBU--Consideration of resolution authorizing a grant of Proposition 84 and/or Proposition 50 funds to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for Project Planning and Design services for the Lechuza Beach Public Access Improvements Project, City of Malibu. [Staff Report] [Map] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Resolution]

DAVE EVANS (THE EDGE OF U2)--Consideration of resolution concerning public benefits program associated with Coastal Development Permit application numbers 4-07-067, 4-07-68, 4-07-146, 4-07-147, 4-07-148 and 4-08-043, Sweetwater Mesa, unincorporated Malibu area. [Map] [Staff Report]

SMMC ANNUAL REPORT--LOTS OF MAPS--Consideration of resolution adopting Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Annual Report for fy 2009/2010. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [SMMC Annual Report FY09-10]

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mendo and Ventura coast properties to be saved...

Coastal Conservancy 1/20/2011 Land Purchases

http://scc.ca.gov/2010/05/13/proposition-84-acquisition-notices/#more-292

Consideration and possible Conservancy authorization to disburse up to $3,000,000 to the Save The Redwoods League to acquire the approximately 957- acre Shady Dell Creek Tract as part of the 50,635-acre Usal Redwood Forest Conservation project in northern Mendocino County.

* 1. The property links to existing protected areas with other large blocks of protected habitat. The linkage serves to connect existing protected areas, facilitate wildlife movement and botanical transfer, and results in sustainable combined acreage. Specifically, the Shady Dell property links to the SinkyoneWilderness State Park and the Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council property, which in turn link to the protected BLM King Range Conservation Area. With the completion of the Redwood Forest Foundation Usal Forest Conservation Easement, the property will also link to the east with the 49,500-acre conservation easement property.
* 2. The project will contribute to the long-term protection of and improvement to the water and biological quality of the Usal Creek.
* 3. The property supports old growth redwood forest an under-protected major habitat types.
* 4. The Conservancy’s funds for the Shady Dell Creek property will be matched by private funds from SRL. It is anticipated that the forest conservation easement will be funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Federal Forest Legacy program further leveraging the Conservancy’s investment in the area.

----------------------

Consideration and possible Conservancy authorization to disburse up to $2,500,000 to The Conservation Fund to acquire the 464-acre Smith Tract portion of the Ten Mile Ranch, located adjacent to the Ten Mile River, Mendocino County.

* 1. The property links to existing protected areas with other large blocks of protected habitat. The linkage serves to connect existing protected areas, facilitate wildlife movement and botanical transfer, and results in sustainable combined acreage. Specifically, the Smith Tract links to the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Ten Mile Dunes State Park.
* 2. The project will contribute to the long-term protection of and improvement to the water and biological quality of the Ten Mile River and its estuary.
* 3. The property supports relatively large areas of salt marsh habitat and coastal estuarine habitat, two under-protected major habitat types.
* 4. The Conservancy’s funds will be matched by private loan funds from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. It is anticipated that the second phase of the acquisition, the Perry Tract, will be funded with multiple state and federal sources, further leveraging the Conservancy’s investment in the Ranch. TCF will provide in-kind matching funds for its stewardship and management costs during the period of its ownership of the Smith Tract.

---------------------------------

Ventura River Parkway Program: Hollingsworth Ranch Acquisition–Possible authorization to disburse up to $500,000 to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy to acquire and prepare a stewardship plan for 70 acres of the Hollingsworth Ranch property along the Ventura River in unincorporated Ventura County, linking the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s upstream preserves with protected public lands located downstream.

Coastal Slope trail and other L.A parks' update...


Park land deals in Malibu, Camarillo and Compton for 1/2011

From the agenda of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority 1/5/2011

6 acre conservation easement in Camarillo--1/5/2011 MRCA--Consideration of resolution authorizing acceptance of conservation easement and processing and monitoring fees, St. Johns Basin, Camarillo. [Map] [Staff Report]

3.4 acre donation in Malibu--1/5/2011 MRCA--Consideration of resolution confirming acceptance of the end of the year donation of approximately 3.4 acres of land located on the Coastal Slope Trail alignment from Jon B. Lovelace and Lillian P. Lovelace, Trustees of the Lovelace Family Trust dated May 21, 1990 as amended, APN 4453-016-001, County of Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map]

Coastal Slope trail in Malibu--1/5/2011 MRCA--Consideration of resolution authorizing application to the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District for an amendment to Project Agreement No. Consideration of resolution authorizing application to the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District for an amendment to Project Agreement No. 58A1-08-2155 to add APNs 4448-029-020; 022, 4451-016-034; 4453-005-093, 094, 096; 4453-007-010; 4453-016-001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 007, 008; 4453-020-008, 017, 028, 029; 4453-027-004, 005, 006, 008, 009, 010, 011, and 012 for the Coastal Slope Trail between Sweetwater Mesa and Tuna Canyon Park.to add APNs 4448-029-020; 022, 4451-016-034; 4453-005-093, 094, 096; 4453-007-010; 4453-016-001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 007, 008; 4453-020-008, 017, 028, 029; 4453-027-004, 005, 006, 008, 009, 010, 011, and 012 for the Coastal Slope Trail between Sweetwater Mesa and Tuna Canyon Park. [Map] [Staff Report]

4.2 acres—Compton Creek--1/5/2011 MRCA--Consideration of resolution authorizing application of funds from the State Coastal Conservancy for projects in the Compton Creek watershed including Compton Creek-Washington Elementary School Natural Park Project. [Staff Report]
The proposed project will convert over four (4.2) acres behind Washington Elementary School, in the City of Compton, into a public park with native riparian plantings, stormwater best management practices, interpretative signage, amphitheater, passive recreation elements, two (2) multi-purpose fields, exercise machines, public restrooms and a satellite office for LACC, adjacent to the Compton Creek Bike Path. The undeveloped site is vacant and is not used by the school or the public.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sonoma Mine owner wants credit for "fixing" a saved habitat...

Watch Out when they say they're going to "save" something that's already been saved

10/2010
Local land trusts oppose breaching of conservation easement for Roblar quarry


http://www.sonomalandtrust.org/enews/2010/1010/1010-orig.html

Troubled about "the integrity of the overall system of conservation easements and land protection in Sonoma County and beyond," Sonoma Land Trust executive director Ralph Benson and Marin Agricultural Land Trust executive director Bob Berner sent letters urging the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors not to permit a modification of the conservation easement on an adjacent property to accommodate a haul road for the proposed Roblar Road quarry. While SLT did not take a position on the proposed gravel quarry, we were "very concerned" about the alternative calling for running the access road through a property protected with a conservation easement. Benson wrote: "The promise of conservation easements — a promise to the taxpayers who fund the purchases and to donors who gift easements — is that they are permanent … We believe that approval [of the road] would do incalculable harm to the integrity of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and SLT's efforts to protect land with conservation easements." The supervisors chose not to modify the easement.
Read SLT's complete letter here

http://www.sonomalandtrust.org/enews/2010/1010/Roblar%20Road%20CE%20letter.pdf



more on this:
12/4/2010
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101204/ARTICLES/101209730

Near Two Rock Valley, small wooden signs with the message “Protected Forever” stand along cattle-dotted hillsides that make up Sonoma County's long-tenured dairy belt.

County taxpayers have poured millions of dollars into preventing development on about 2,000 acres of private ranchland here...

Under a proposal by the owner of a 70-acre rock quarry tentatively approved for the area, about 105 acres of adjacent, county-protected farmland owned by a local dairy family would be used to partly replace habitat for two rare amphibian species that would be impacted by the quarry...

The developer, former North Bay Construction owner John Barella, defends the deal by pointing to past instances where the county has allowed habitat mitigation on county-protected farmland.

New National Park addition in SF Bay...

4000 Acre Park to open to the public south of SF





(The soon-to-open park is in the upper left corner of the map)

http://www.parksconservancy.org/about/newsletters/park-e-ventures/2011/january-park-e-ventures.html#static_article

Soon there will be a new southern gateway to the Golden Gate National Parks: Rancho Corral de Tierra. In early 2011, the National Park Service assumes management of 3,858 acres of this beautiful coastal parcel in San Mateo County. Learn about some features of Rancho, and find out how to get a sneak preview of our new national parkland.

One of the largest swaths of undeveloped land on the San Mateo peninsula, Rancho Corral de Tierra had been fated to become a patchwork of private subdivisions, “ranchettes,” and golf links. But thanks to the vision of the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), this remarkable parcel—and its breathtaking coastal views, ecologically vital watersheds, and miles of public trails—were protected and preserved for all.

In early 2011, POST will formally transfer 3,858 acres of the Rancho property to the Golden Gate National Parks. In the coming months, the National Park Service and Parks Conservancy will work with other public land agencies to establish trailheads (with maps, signage, and restrooms) from which visitors can set off on the existing network of trails. The NPS will also engage the community in developing a long-term plan for our new national park site.

If you want a head-start on exploring Rancho, join a guided walk on (1/8 or 1/29) or bike ride (1/16/2011).

http://www.facebook.com/parksconservancy#!/parksconservancy?v=app_23798139265

http://www.facebook.com/parksconservancy#!/parksconservancy?v=wall

CLEARCUTTING CREDITS FOR BIG TIMBER?

Can't See the Smog for the Trees?

12/23/2010—Center for Biological Diversity:
The California Air Resources Board has approved a cap-and-trade program including a ludicrous loophole that will encourage forest clearcutting in the name of reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change. The program, adopted last Thursday as part of California's effort to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions, would let industrial polluters purchase carbon dioxide "offset credits" from forest carbon projects -- including clearcutting -- instead of reducing their own emissions. The program also includes loopholes that allow big timber companies to claim carbon credit for tree growth that was already slated to occur; it lets industrial polluters dodge responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning "biomass" -- including whole, green trees -- for energy.
"Clearcutting forests is not the solution to global warming," said Brian Nowicki, California climate policy director at the Center. "At best, this will subsidize, at the expense of the people of California, some of the most damaging forest management going on today. At worst, this will incentivize the clearcutting of natural forests to be replaced by tree farms."

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12/27/2010— http://forestsforever.org
Giant landowners and timber cutters and their allies in the California Department of Forestry were able to convince seven out of 10 ARB commissioners to vote in favor of granting Big Timber clean-air credits for clearcutting – despite overwhelming evidence that CO2 emissions from clearcutting contribute substantially to global warming.
The seven commissioners refused to heed our warnings.
“We strongly urge the ARB to eliminate from the offset program the clearcutting of our forests as a way of sequestering carbon,” testified Forests Forever Legislative Advocate Luke Breit at the hearing. He urged the 10 ARB commissioners to “add provisions to assure that forest projects do not result in the conversion of naturally managed (uneven-aged forests) into clear-cut plantations.”
Despite an outpouring of public testimony in opposition at the hearing, the pro-clearcutting forces persuaded the ARB to condone an alarmingly bad practice.
The board voted to grant major timber companies such as Sierra Pacific Industries and Green Diamond Resource Company the right to profit from selling forest “carbon offsets” to industrial polluters unable to meet their statutory pollution-reduction goals under A.B. 32, California’s landmark law to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.
And the board’s vote will permit the timber companies to include clearcutting projects among the “offsets” sold. In the process, the timber companies stand to reap substantial windfall profits.
The ARB’s action defies common sense and good science! In its rush to judgment in favor of the timber industry, the ARB has made an egregious error and needs to be called to account.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/FORESTS-FOREVER/145729345990

http://www.forestsforever.org/ActionAlert_ARB_Protocols.html

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http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5297

On December 16, the California Air Resources Board will consider adopting a disastrous cap-and-trade program under AB 32, California's effort to combat climate change by reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions.

The program would allow industrial polluters to avoid reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon "offset credits" -- many of which could come from forest management projects that allow clearcutting. The proposal would also allow industrial polluters to avoid greenhouse gas emissions limits by burning forest "biomass" -- including whole, live trees -- instead of fossil fuels, encouraging logging of California's forests and increasing overall greenhouse gas emissions.

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http://centralcoastforestwatch.posterous.com/mrc-got-huge-tax-break-dfg-bit-the-dust
As written, the forest protocols would even allow a landowner clearcutting old growth redwood to receive a carbon credit for the tree growth that would result from even-age management of the property. (I am told that the Fisher's have helped bankroll the research being conducted by Steve Sillett and others regarding the impact of redwoods on climate change and vice versa.)

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http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2010/new-york-times-12-17-2010.html
Dozens of witnesses -- and several board members -- voiced opposition to the provision that would make clearcutting eligible to receive offset credits for improved forest management. The debate has split environmental groups, with the Nature Conservancy backing timber companies' and offset certifiers' position that the protocol does not encourage clearcutting.
Brian Nowicki, California climate policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity, urged ARB to remove references to "even-aged management," a term that within California means clearing adjacent areas up to 40 acres.

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ANOTHER VIEW:

http://www.forestsworkwonders.org/2010/12/california-to-hold-public-hearing-on.html

Big Klamath River water deal is finalized...

Now, to figure out what it means...

10/27/2010--Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA or Water Deal) and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA or Dam Deal) are done. Those who were going to sign have signed and those who were not going to sign have not signed. In the Klamath River Basin there has been a rearrangement of the “sides” in what has always been a zero sum water game with winners and losers...

READ MORE:

http://klamblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/implementing-klamath-agreements-new.html

3 New Parks in Humboldt County...

Humboldt Bay's 600 Acre South Spit dubbed for Thompson

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_15485917

7/10/2010--Local leaders took the time Friday to honor the contributions of Rep. Mike Thompson toward cleaning up the South Spit and returning it to its former glory as a recreational haven.
The popular stretch of beach, dunes and marsh is now officially known as the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area South Spit Humboldt Bay. In a ceremony on the bluff overlooking the spit, representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Game, county supervisors and others reviewed the history of the area donated to the state by the old Pacific Lumber Co.
Pacific Lumber had a controlling interest in the land since the late 1800s, and company goose and duck hunters treasured the place. The company began to let people stay on the South Spit with RVs, but by the 1980s, the area had become notorious for its crime and squalid conditions. Into the 1990s, the shantytown continued to degrade…

The transfer of the South Spit to public ownership was not in the final version of the Headwaters Forest deal, a three-way swap that transferred the 7,400-acre Headwaters Forest and two smaller groves to the state and federal governments for $480 million.
But Thompson, D-St. Helena, said he pushed then-PL parent company Maxxam CEO Charles Hurwitz to honor a handshake deal and transfer the 600-acre South Spit to the Department of Fish and Game. In 2001, the donation of the land was accepted by the state. Two years later, the South Spit reopened under management of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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2 1/2 miles of beach front saved at the Eel River

http://www.wildlandsconservancy.org/preserve_soundingseas.html

Irving and Jean Stone
Sounding Seas Beach Reserve
In 2009, The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) purchased two-and-a-half miles of ocean frontage and sand dunes that were situated between the beaches at the Eel River Estuary Preserve.

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16 More acres for Arcata's Community Forest



Arcata Forest Addition Acquisition
Possible authorization to disburse up to $100,000 to the City of Arcata for acquisition of an approximately 16.3 acre forest property (APN 507-081-032 and 507-081-034) for the purposes of providing public access, preventing fragmentation of forestlands; preserving open space; and protecting water quality and salmonid habitat and a 60′-wide right-of-way easement over the neighboring parcel (APN 057-041-001) for non-motorized public access in the City of Arcata, Humboldt County.

http://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/pdf/sccbb/1010bb/20101021Board3C_Arcata_Forest_Addition_Ex2.pdf

FOR MAP:
http://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/pdf/sccbb/1010bb/20101021Board3C_Arcata_Forest_Addition_Ex2.pdf