Visit this old grove of conifers before the logging companies destroy it in the name of “Aspen Restoration.” Feather River Action is our local community environmental group. Our mission is to defend the Feather River region from harm and build community. We are based in Portola.
Healthy forests cool and moisten the atmosphere and actually coax rain out of the clouds. Especially large trees provide wildlife habitat and sequester large quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into their trunks, roots, branches and leaves. Along with a phase out of fossil fuel use, protecting forests is our most powerful ally in preventing catastrophic rises in temperature that threaten our future.
Crocker Grove is one of the oldest conifer groves in Eastern Plumas County and it is currently under imminent threat from the Forest Service who want to cut it down as part of the “Mapes Crocker” logging project, ostensibly to protect the nearby Aspen trees. In reality, this logging plan will destroy a unique old grove of trees, increase fire risk and endanger— rather than protect— the Aspens.
In a show of mismanagement and utter disregard for what the public has to say about management of our own public lands, the Forest Service striped trees to be cut even before public was notified or had a chance to comment on the Mapes Crocker plan.
We’ll meet at 9am at Portola Park across from the Library, then caravan up to the site near Lake Davis. It is a fairly easy, 10-15 minute hike in. We’ll picnic and have a discussion / talk about forest and fire policy and how effective fire prevention policy can intersect with ecological restoration / protection. We will also brainstorm ideas to stop the Crocker-Mapes debacle.
Bring lots of water, sun protection, sturdy shoes, and snacks/lunch. This is a great opportunity to make friends, connect with other locals who care about the forest and organize to protect it. If you have questions please contact us.
Feather River Action! has been working with Plumas County over the past several months to encourage bicycle improvements on County Rd. A15 and other roads. Bicycle infrastructure is essential to improve local air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and improve local resiliency.
We’re happy to announce that the County recently responded to our requests by installing 3 ‘share the road’ signs along County Rd. A15 (Portola-McLears Rd.) including this one located at the ‘disappearing bike lane’ where many cyclists have reported close calls with cars due to a blind curve and people commonly crossing the double yellow to pass. The vehicle code (CVC 21202) states that when a lane is too narrow to share safely, a bicycle may make use of the full lane, and cars must wait until it is safe to pass.
The share the road signs are not enough by themselves but help raise awareness so that everyone gets to where they are going safely. We are also advocating for “sharrows” to be placed on the roadway to remind drivers that cyclists have a right to the lane, and eventually bike lanes or shoulders added to the roadway, and consideration of a lowered speed limit and/or bicycle and pedestrian facilities. As development at Nakoma and elsewhere ramps up and more traffic comes to the area, it is essential that the safety and quality of the non-motorized experience is not compromised. Join us, make a donation, or volunteer to help us improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities around the Feather River region. The beauty of non-motorized facilities is that they offer an option to locals as well as drawing tourists to the area.- FRA!
If you’ve been on the Lake Davis Trail recently, you probably noticed blue markings on nearly all the trees along the Trail- a planned 90% clearcut in an area that really only needs a light under-burn. On thousands of acres around Lake Davis, the Forest Service wants to come in with heavy equipment and cut down 90% of the forest canopy— way above what even the Forest Service’s own guides instruct.
These trees were marked before the project was even scoped or environmental assessment completed, another case of the Forest Service treating public input as just a formality. This is also a waste of taxpayer dollars when marks have to be undone when plans change.
Logging reduces fuel, but it also exposes the ground to more drying sun and wind, compacts soils, and often makes forests drier and more flammable.
The Mapes Crocker project includes plans to cut one of the largest mature forests near Portola— the “Crocker Grove”— in the name of “Aspen Restoration.” If you look at a satellite map of Portola, Crocker Grove is the dense green patch just north of town.
We need these older forests to retain moisture, store carbon and resist fire. The Forest Service is proposing to cut nearly all conifers- even very old ones- within 150 feet of any aspen stem. Other “aspen restorations” have resulted in a dry wasteland, where thickets of small trees sprout up after the disturbance and become kindling for the next megafire.
This harms Aspens and increases fire risk for Portola. Instead of helping towns become more defensible, the Forest Service is making wildfires worse by cutting large fire resilient trees, damaging soils, causing disturbed conditions where dense thickets of small flammable trees sprout, and pulling off industrial logging as “thinning” while neglecting under-burn plans.
The fire break created last summer to try and block the Dixie from burning Portola was not tested and would not have been necessary had the Forest Service carried out under-burns in this area that were committed to.
Feather River Action! is calling for an under-burn/ hand-thin-only option as an alternative to industrial devastation in the Crocker-Mapes project area. We are also planning a hike and picnic to the Crocker Grove on a weekend in June. The date will be announced on our website.
The Crocker Grove is a local jewel— one of the last older forests in the area — but it is currently under threat from a large tree clearcut plan dressed up as an aspen “restoration” project.
Contact the Forest Service now and urge them to adopt a hand thin/ underburn alternative for the whole mapes crocker area and leave ALL large conifers– including around aspens– in place.