Mid-April Update: Forest Destruction Lawsuit/ Camp/ Day of Action, Copper Mine Comments Due May 8th

Is this photo below (taken along La Porte Rd.) the future of Plumas National Forest? All the beautiful and special habitats we know and love, ground up and sent to a biomass plant and then exported to Asia or Europe as “renewable fuel” — all in the name of “community protection”? How stupid do they think we are?

We’ve been busy the last several months working to try to understand exactly what the Forest Service is planning in our area. (which is not easy given their secrecy and lack of a single public meeting).

Our conclusion is that Plumas County residents are not prepared for what is coming. Four hundred square miles of up to 77% clearcuts, widespread herbicide spraying, and the elimination of 80,000 acres of protected spotted owl habitat is coming to our area unless the lawsuit we recently filed with Plumas Forest Project and John Muir Project is successful.

This is not just logging under the guise of fuel reduction, and then the forest will recover. The USFS has plans for permanent conversion of wild forest lands (where you live) to denuded tree plantations, repeatedly doused with toxic herbicides to prevent native shrub growth, and to promote planted tree seedlings. This is almost certain to harm animal and plant (not to mention human) populations in our area.

It is well documented that ecosystems have evolved to survive and even thrive through mixed intensity wildfires, and that fires are in fact rejuvenating for the forest. What forests have not evolved to cope with is herbicide application and industrial logging using heavy equipment in the name of salvage or wildfire protection. The wildfire crisis IS a climate crisis, and “thinning” (AKA logging) forests digs us deeper into dangerous and unpredictable territory.

Thankfully, resistance is growing. A new group, ‘Lost Sierra Forest Defense’ is planning a Forest Climate Action Camp in Plumas County May 23-29th. A National Day of Forest-Climate Action has been called for May 28th. We’ve been invited to run a workshop during the camp on the specifics of the Plumas Community Destruction Project. Please visit their website, save the date, spread the word, and plan to spend some time this spring enjoying and protecting threatened ancient forests. NO LOGGING OF MATURE OR OLD GROWTH FORESTS IN A CLIMATE CRISIS! (thanks to friends up in OR occupying threatened old growth trees to protest the BLM’s poorly though out ‘Poor Windy’ timber sale).

US Copper Corp. Targets Plumas County: Comments Due May 8th

The other major threat to the Lost Sierra is the proposed open pit copper mine near Greenville. Feather River Watershed Alliance is taking the lead on organizing opposition. Feather River Action! stands in solidarity with FRWA against open pit mining in the watershed, which has predictably disastrous effects. We will not accept Plumas County becoming a “sacrifice zone” for false climate solutions like electric vehicles, which require huge amounts of copper and lithium to manufacture batteries. Please note that comments to the Plumas County Planning Dept. are due May 8th. Visit FRWA’s website to learn more and take action. Direct public comment to traceyferguson@countyofplumas.com.

Thank you for your support, please consider donating or volunteering to support our efforts. If you have friends who would like to stay informed and receive our newsletter, please e-mail us at info@featherriveraction.org

Feather River Action! Tours Area of Old Growth Forest Threatened by USFS “Community Destruction Plan”

On Nov. 12th, FRA! led a public tour of areas threatened by the US Forest Service “Community Destruction” Logging Project. Much of this is truly old growth forest (that Biden claims to be protecting). However, by the time his protection order goes into effect (in 2025, depending on elections), much old growth and mature forest will already be gone or destroyed under emergency orders from Biden’s  own Agriculture Dept. We demand a halt to extreme logging plans in the Feather River watershed, as these plans will only exacerbate the harm the Forest Service claims to want to prevent.

If the Strawberry Valley area were in any other country in the world, it would be a national park, preserved for all time as a pride and treasure. But in the US, it is (apparently) considered an expendable area for the biomass and timber industries. This is an incredibly unique Sierra rainforest ecosystem that must be protected. When we visited this fall, there were fungi everywhere, strawberry plants covering the ground, and large banana-like slugs crossing the road. A rare, coastal-like forest in the middle of the Sierras.

Take a drive up La Porte Rd. in Plumas County and see for yourself what a unique, rainforest environment this is. The area feels like a different world than the sierra mixed conifer and eastside pine forests common to the area. Strawberry Valley gets over 80 inches of liquid precipitation every year, and this contributes to faster tree growth (and thus carbon sequestration– and unfortunately attention from the timber industry).

The right turn to Strawberry Valley campground (just past North Star) is paved but unmarked, and though the campground is closed for the season, you can park along the road and walk among the giant trees. The area is beautiful (and at risk!) and well worth a visit.

On our way back from Strawberry Valley, we witnessed industrial devastation of the forest along La Porte Rd. near Pilot Lake (apparently in the name of “forest management”). Soil was compacted and damaged, virtually all life was torn apart.

This is apparently what the US Forest Service wants to do to more than a quarter million more acres in Plumas and neighboring counties, in the name of “wildfire protection.”

Far from protecting communities, this kind of disturbance leads to flammable slash piles, thickets of small flammable trees and faster, wind driven wildfires through dried out forests. It’s too bad so many people have drank the Kool Aid and think this kind of destruction is okay (even some environmental groups!). It’s not JUST about fuels, it is also very much about aridity and wind speed which this kind of clear cut “thinning” is very good at increasing.

No industrial logging on public lands!!

Protect our communities, climate and forests!!

The sign right next to the devastated area states that “it is unlawful to excavate, remove, disturb, deface or destroy…(any object)”

Unfortunately no one read the sign before unleashing industrial equipment upon the public forest. According to the sign, “violators are subject to arrest.”

We have requested more information from the Forest Service about this vandalism and the perpetrators responsible and will post it here if and when we hear back.