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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 7, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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July 7, 2010
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, July 7, 2010 9A Keddie fuel-reduction plan ready-almost Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com Breathing easier may be just a few more months away for residents who have lived in fear of wildfires since the Moonlight Fire in 2007 caused so many of them to evacuate their homes, and even the state during the weeks of smoke- and ash-filled skies that seemed to spread from Southern California all the way to the Oregon border. It's been a four-year process to bring the Keddie Ridge Haz- ardous Fuels Reduction Pro- ject to the draft environmental impact statement stage, but that is where it's at-- almost. Forest Service experts are now studying and incorporat- ing public comments made in previous rounds, including those made during the first scoping stage in December 2006, another in 2009 and the current one this year. Although the date was past for comment Wednesday, June 16, when officials con- ducted an open house in Greenville, they were still ac- cepting comments from those few people who attended. Among those attending were Bob Carter of Round Valley Lake Resort, where one treatment unit is located. Rather than a focus on fuel reduction for safety's sake, this area is one where the haz- ardous fuel reduction is sec- ondary to the protection and enhancement of habitat for bald eagle nesting areas and sensitive plants like the la- dy's-slipper orchid and Con- stance's rock cress. "It really needs it," Carter said in support of the thinning work needed to accomplish the habitat improvements. While Carter did not submit a written comment, at least two other attendees did, Greenville resident Hank A1- rich, who is against the use of herbicides for the several nox- ious weed treatment units proposed, and Counties' Quin- cy Library Group Forester Frank Stewart, who urged movement ahead on the pro- ject, as well as total removal of proposed noxious weed treatments with herbicide. "Do not hang up this ur- gently needed project because of 102 acres of desired noxious weed treatments with herbi- cides," he wrote in an April 2010 comment. Rather than placing the whole project at risk from ap- peals and lawsuits that would be filed by objectionists, like Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, he thought the treatments should be re- moved and done in a com- pletely separate project. Several of the Keddie units are marked for noxious weed treatment, including Peter's Creek, where there are star thistles over a large area adja- cent to private land, and north of the confluence of Lights and Indian creeks, where there are star and Canada thistles, as well as Medusahead. And there are others. Besides the comment oppos- ing inclusion of herbicide treatments and several help- ful comments about the com- pleteness and relevance of the project documents, Stewart also emphasized the social and economic importance of moving forward without any more delays. "We are 11 years into a five- year, congressionally ap- proved pilot project, and only 58 percent of the acres, 46 per- cent of the saw log volume and 58 percent of the biomass volume have been accom- plished," Stewart wrote. "In case you are not aware, the current unemployment situa- tion in Plumas County is at 22.8 percent and every effort must be made to get this and other QLG projects through the NEPA (National Environ- mental Policy Act) process and on to the bid table so con- tracts can be awarded and people can get back to work!" Another of the points he made in writing was that it is Sheriff lauded for budget Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com County Administrative Of- ficer Jack Ingstad and the Board of Supervisors thanked Sheriff Greg Hagwood for the savings he provided the coun- ty in the upcoming budget at a June Board of Supervisors meeting. In turn, Hagwood thanked his staff for the sacrifices they made to save the county funds. "We are doing well with less; we're going to continue to do better with what we have," he told the board be- fore cautioning, "I think we are at the point where we can't lose anymore." Ingstad told the board the sheriff's department would have in excess of a million dol- lars less in spending in the new budget year compared to a bud- get under former sheriff Terry Bergstrand several years ago. Not all of those savings went to the county; the sher- iff's office had decreases in other funding sources as the state and federal governments felt the pinch. Hagwood's bud- get did lower the county con- tribution by $185,000 com- pared to last year. "This is the first time that the sheriffs office has cooper- ated with the CAO and the board during difficult budget times," Ingstad said. He added that if anyone had county funding restored if good fiscal news came in, it should be the sheriff's office. Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative Selling Surplus Vehicles Vehicles will be sold to the highest bidder through a sealed bid process. All vehicles will be available for inspection from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, July 12, at PSREC's headquarters, 73233 State Route 70, Portola. Bid winners will be notified on Wednesday, July 14. Maintenance records are available, and all vehicles are sold as is, with no warranty, expressed or implied. • 1991 Altec D845-TR 4x4 digger truck mounted on 1991 International 4800 190HP Diesel Line Body truck. Braden Front mounted wi0ch. 105,035 miles and 8,920 engine hours. Has PTO, but no hour meter. An upgrade of the diesel emissions may be necessary. Starting minimum bid on this vehicle is $5,000. • 1992 Ford F250 4x4 flatbed with automatic transmission 203,428 miles. • 1993 Ford F350 4x4 5-speed manual with front winch 222,115 miles. • 1993 Ford Explorer 4x4 with automatic transmission 157,551 miles. • 1994 Ford Explorer 4x4 5-speed manual 169,250 miles. • 15' heavy duty, dual axel utility trailer with pinal hitch. Red House Art Presents an afternoon with... Plein air artist Silvio Silvestri Saturday, July 10th 12- 3 pm Silvio Silvestri is an award winning Plein air artist in Northern California painting in the mountains, often traveling in the Sierras for weeks at a time. Come meet Silvio and view his recent paintings! Red House Art On the park in historic Graeagle, California 530 836-0104 important to include historical and charted images of all haz- ardous fuels thinning projects done in the area, kind of like providing the "big picture," that shows how all such pro- jects in the Wildland Urban In- terface area are connected to provide a more fire-resistant landscape around communi- ties like those in Indian Valley. Back on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2007, a map from the scop- ing documents that ran on the front page of the Indian Val- ley Record included depic- tions of these interfaces, though not of all the other in- terconnected projects. This year, that map was available during the final round of scoping, thanks to the Phmas County Fire Safe Council. This map ran on the front page of the April 21, 2010 issue of the Indian Valley Record and in other county newspapers. Other comments received can be classified in two cate- gories, supportive and opposi- tional. Each is important in the scoping process, according to project leader Katherine Car- penter of the Mt. Hough Ranger District. "We have a role to play in bringing forward opposing views," she said. For example, while Forest Service scientists might claim a 40-percent canopy cover is most beneficial for both fire resilience and habitat improvement, oppositionists claim that scientific research from a variety of sources points to a desired 70- to 90- percent canopy cover. And in the case of the spot- ted owl, local scientists have observed them living in burned areas of the forest, while oppositionists did not think that would be possible. Carpenter said the agency must read each reference made in those opposing view- points and then decide what to dismiss and what to incor- porate based on the relevance. "They (oppositionists and other groups) often submit references from old studies or those done elsewhere, some of which are not applicable to conditions on Ptumas Nation- al Forest," she said. For example, one argument against herbicide use is that is will negatively impact a coral reef out in the ocean, while the scientists here know that such small amounts used so far away will not have such an impact. So in that one case, the ar- gument would be dismissed, while others, such as applica- tion methods to mitigate im- pacts might be incorporated. "We certainly incorporate their ideas," Carpenter said. "Many times they show us things we were not aware of." Comments not mentioned already include supportive comments from the California Forestry Association which, like Stewart, wish the eco- nomics to be considered in the plan, as well as Sierra Pacific Industries who, also like Stew- art, wished work to be started on the ground as soon as pos- sible, since it was originally expected the final environ- mental analysis to be complet- ed by August 2007, the month before the Moonlight Wildfire. One comment was received in support of maintaining and improving off-highway vehi- cle access in the forest. Opposing comments were from groups like CATs, The John Muir Project and Sierra Forest Legacy. Other comments included private interests and those made in concern of historical and cultural resources from Enterprise Rancheria of Oroville and the Chico Rancheria. Those interested in study- ing the scoping documents on- line may visit http://bit.ly/ 9cpbfv. The Forest Service project page will open, and viewers may click on the Ked- die Hazardous Fuels Reduc- tion Project. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will not be published to the site until it is completed, probably in Octo- ber 2010, when there will be another opportunity for pub- lic comment. To see the comments or for other viewing options, those interested may call Katherine Carpenter at 283-7619. Onl00 :" ::: in TV Nationwide Over Top Channels including HD Channels $24 99 for 12 months and HD is FREE FOR LIFE Act now and also get: FREE FRE FREE HBe a ,'tWIIMF. HD DVR Installation DVR is leased, in up to 6 rooms For 3 months ($6/mo DVR Service fee applies) Offer requires Agreement and AutoPay with Papedess Billing. ........ ,,,,:t.___.. Tim V. JoneSp.0.0uinCY, ox + d L'e--’i'--4) (530) 283-3800 N E T W O It K. 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