Mature, old growth forests near Strawberry Valley (around Lost Creek, above and Onion Creek, satellite image below) face up to 77% cutting (canopy reduction) by the USFS “Community Destruction Project” THIS FALL. The satellite photos you see represent large stores of carbon, much of which would be released to the atmosphere if the project goes ahead as planned (estimated at nearly 6 million tons of CO2 according to the Forest Service).
This would destroy the ecological integrity of these unique ecosystems, and allow faster and stronger drying winds and sun under the canopy, putting the forest (and nearby communities) at increased risk of climate devastation. These dense forests are adapted to hold in moisture and resist wildfire. They are already naturally protective of communities.
In addition to the Strawberry Valley area, areas to the north and south Mohawk Valley/ Graeagle/ Blairsden (especially to the north but also to the south) are at immediate risk of industrial logging as soon as November 2023. Please volunteer or donate to help us organize to stop this plan.
These areas are as close as the Sierra Nevada get to actual “rainforests” that include “lush understory of Pacific Dogwood, Big Leaf Maple, & vestiges of Tanoak, and perhaps most interesting of all Epithetic Lichens.”
More information and photos of very large trees in these areas, and specific mapping of threatened forests can be found here. Thanks to Joshua French for his work documenting these unique habitats before they are destroyed.
We need YOU to come to Plumas County and appreciate and defend these vital carbon-storing communities. Biomass is a false solution to the climate crisis!
We found out just minutes ago that theU.S. Forest Service has approved an Emergency Authorization to approve what we’re calling the “Community Destruction Project,” industrial logging and applying $30 million of highly toxic herbicides to more than 217,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest (PNF), including mature and old growth forest. They essentially want to convert wild public forests into private tree farms, pretending that these tree farms will somehow protect communities when research has shown that nothing done beyond 100 feet of a home makes any difference whatsoever in whether a home survives a wildfire.
This plan would endanger human, animal, and plant communities by worsening wildfire conditions and exacerbating the climate crisis that is the main cause of recent extreme wildfires in California. This plan is likely one of many resource extraction projects to come (including in National Parks) which are planned to feed into the new “wood pellet as renewable energy” business with large wood pellet factories planned for Lassen and Tuolomne Counties.
You can access and download the US Forest Service Central and West Slope project documents here. This impacts the Mohawk Valley, Portola, Strawberry Valley areas and beyond.
Though the Central and West Slope plan is the largest logging project ever approved for the PNF, and the plan involves major Forest Plan Amendments that would strip Spotted Owl protections, the Forest Service refused to hold a single public meeting and the plan was not debated in public or covered by the local media.
How are we going to respond to this attack on the wild? We are calling for an emergency mobilization to stop the destruction of wild forest lands. Come to Plumas County, join us if you are already here. We need your help!
If you are not familiar with Daniel Swain, he is probably California’s foremost weather expert. In his latest online office hours, he outlines the El Nino conditions impacting the Earth at the moment, with recent extreme fires and floods in Greece, China, Canada and elsewhere. He talks about the trajectory we are on for 2.5 or 3 degrees centigrade average warming, which would be truly catastrophic on a global level.
The overall path we are on is grim, particularly if people insist on the levels of energy consumption and hypermobility to which many — especially the wealthy— have become accustomed, and if people continue to allow forest thinning (AKA deforestation) that releases carbon into the air and inhibits future absorption.
We highly recommend subscribing to Daniel’s regular office hours on youtube— it is the best available climate / weather analysis geared to California.
Bottom line: We need to drain the tub (let forests and grasslands recover) and stop filling it (burning fossil fuels). Watch to the end for a full explanation from Daniel.