BREAKING: USFS Backs Off Large Portion of Plumas Forest Destruction Plan After Lawsuit / Objection

SAVED (at least temporarily): Old growth forest in the area the Forest Service has withdrawn its Decision Notice for. Credit: Josh French
In response to the objection led by John Muir Project, and supported by Plumas Forest Project and Feather River Action! in late May against the (“non-emergency”) 271 square mile portion of the CPP-Central/West-Slope logging project, the Forest Service withdrew their draft Decision Notice affecting this area. This decision impacts all the outlined areas on the map below in Central and Western Plumas County (apart from the “emergency” areas marked in green) that are being challenged by our lawsuit (still awaiting an initial hearing). Though they withdrew their decision notice, the environmental assessment (EA) still covers this area and we continue to be in litigation to reject the entire EA and require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Forest Service could re-issue the decision at any time.
Map of planned logging activities on the Plumas National Forest. Areas in green are “emergency” areas which are being litigated but could be logged as early as August. Areas outlined but not in green are “non-emergency” areas that the Forest Service has withdrawn their decision notice for.
It’s likely that our lawsuit filed in March, as well as the strong objection, backed with scientific studies and informed by Dr. Hanson’s expertise, was a critical factor in the USFS decision to abandon— for the time being— essentially two thirds of the massive (and overblown) “Community Protection Project.”
How do you think logged vs. non-logged forests compare in their ability to hold on to critical moisture during a heat wave like we’re experiencing this week in Northern California? It is clear by now that industrial logging dries out forests, adds millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere, and endangers communities of all species, including humans.
See above map of impacted area and Forest Service letter linked below . Let us know if you have questions. If you support our efforts and have the funds, we could really use your support for lawsuit and outreach expenses. This effort is critical in protecting the wild AND our communities. Thank you to those who have contributed so far. Please donate here.

Judge Requires EIS in BLM Case, Finding That “(Thinning) Treatments Have Been Found to Create Highly Flammable (Conditions)”

Great grey owls in the Klamath Forest. Credit: KS Wild/ Dan Elster
A US District Court judge recently ruled in favor of the Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center that a full EIS must be prepared on a wildfire prevention-justified logging project in Oregon. See recent legal ruling below, in particular the bolded sections below from judge’s decision. The science is clear that thinning can act as a barrier to species migration esp. those species like the spotted owl who depend on dense forest. It is not credible to state that there is no controversy around this, as the Forest Service claims.
P. 28-29 Judge Clarke’s Recommendations and Findings:

” When presented to the public, the IVM Program received deep public disapproval and skepticism during its comment phase: Neighbors and advocates disputed the lack of transparency and site-specific analysis, as well as the nature of the Program, which sacrifices habitats for commercial logging. AS and KS Plaintiffs presented substantial evidence that BLM’s chosen logging prescriptions would not have the intended effect and would instead exacerbate fire issues. For example, some studies found that treatments like Open and Intermediate, which create open conditions through thinned portions of forests stands and rely on regeneration, not only remove the habitat and connectivity that is required for NSO survival, but those treatments have also been found to create highly flammable young stocks interspersed throughout the thinned units. Another study found that the regrowth and replanting required in younger plantation stands will eliminate the effort to mimic past fire regimes, and the gap openings will increase fire hazard in these stands. Other research concurred that open conditions and more intensive forest management can lead to accelerated levels of fire severity in this region specifically, and that thinning and group selection openings may indirectly increase surface wind gusts and temperatures, increasing severity of surface fire behavior.

You can read the judge’s ruling here.

Fix ‘Our’ Forests ACT (HR 8790) Threatens to Break Them— Take Action and Spread the Word

Public forest at risk from the Forest Service,Strawberry Valley, CA 2024 Credit: Josh French
John Muir Project Action Alert: Your voice is needed to protect our forests and communities! Please take action now to urge your Representative to oppose HR 8790, the ‘Fix Our Forests’ Act.

What’s at Stake?
HR 8790, introduced by Representatives Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Scott Peters (D-CA), is a logging bill in disguise that would:

Increase Wildfire Risks: Contrary to its claims, this bill promotes unchecked logging under the guise of “thinning,” which has been shown to increase wildfire risks. Recent tragedies in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and northern California highlight the dangers of this approach.
Undermine Environmental Protections: The bill would weaken critical safeguards like the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, jeopardizing forest ecosystems.
Limit Public Accountability: HR 8790 restricts judicial review and excludes public input on crucial forest management decisions, favoring industry interests over sustainable practices and community resilience.

Why Oppose HR 8790?

Protect Forest Ecosystems: Our forests are vital for biodiversity, climate stability, and community health.
Promote Effective Wildfire Prevention: Evidence-based strategies like home hardening and community-centered efforts are more effective and sustainable.
Ensure Transparency and Accountability: Public input and judicial review are essential for responsible forest management.

How Can You Help?

Contact Your Representative: Click here———> Action Alert to urge your Representative to oppose HR 8790.
Spread the Word: Share this alert with your friends, family, and social networks to amplify our collective voice.
Engage with Local Environmental Groups: Join efforts to support sustainable forest management and oppose harmful legislation.