Ancient Sierra “Rainforests” Under Immediate Threat From US Forest Service

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!

Emergency Mobilization to Protect Plumas National Forest

We found out just minutes ago that the U.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.

The USFS Eastside project documents are available here. This project affects forest to the west of Janesville and Milford and is currently within the 30 day comment period (which ends November 4th). Please comment even briefly by e-mailing and cc:

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!

Please watch our video call to action above, read our letter to the editor that kicked off the debate about this ill-conceived plan, and read our recent Where I Stand article in the Plumas News that provides links to the science, particularly useful if you are new to this issue. Also consider reading Chad Hanson’s Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate which is a great summary of the issue from one scientist working to save our forests (and is available at Plumas County Library).

What you can do:

1. Donate. We need funds to get the word out, organize, and hold the Forest Service accountable. Your donation will go directly to direct costs.

2. Contact us with questions or to volunteer: we need help flyering, spreading word on social media, etc. etc.

3. Sign up for our updates and spread the word.

4. Come to Plumas County, CA. It is lovely in the fall, there is free and low cost camping available, it is uncrowded and we have clean air and beautiful forests that need protecting.

5. Speak out at local government meetings and write letters to local editors (including the Sierra Booster, Mountain Messenger, and Plumas Sun)

Thank you for your support. Please spread this extremely troubling news far and wide! Click on the image below to download our latest flyer in pdf.