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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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November 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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mL~ vveanesaay, i~ov. i l, zulu Feather River Bulletin Moonlight background The Wheeler Fire, part of the Antelope Complex of fires, burned in July 2007. The Moonlight Fire burned 66,000 acres--the largest wildfire in recorded Plumas County history--beginning in September 2007. In June 2008, the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute filed an administrative appeal of the Moonlight roadside hazard logging decision. The Forest Service wanted to use a categorical exclusion to exempt it from having to do an environmental analysis of the project. Ell argued such an analysis was needed for a project that was "fun- damentally about salvage logging large trees." The Forest Service's regional office denied the administrative appeal Aug. 14, 2008, and Ell subse- quently filed suit asking for an injunction for the road- side hazard project. In September 2008, the Forest Service withdrew its decision to proceed with the roadside hazard project. Six weeks later, the parties entered an agreement in which the Forest Service said it would include the roadside activities in a new draft environmental study for the larger Moonlight- Wheeler project. In spring 2009, Ell sub- mitted comments on the environmental analysis. In late June, the outgoing chief of the Forest Service authorized an "emergency situation determination," which allowed the Plumas National Forest to imple- ment the project without further administrative appeal. Soon thereafter, the Forest Service signed the ~' ~i~!ililiiii~!ii!i!i!?!~!'~ ?':i~iliiiiiiiiiii~ :il ~:i ; ~iii~i~ record of decision for the project, choosing alterna- tive A. This authorized the harvest of fire-killed trees on approximately 14,755 acres of the approximately 41,000 acres of high-severity burn areas using both ground- and air-based harvesting methods. The Forest Service subsequently awarded five logging contracts to local com- panies. Earth Island filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to stop the Forest Service from im- plementing all aspects of the project, including the felling, removal and sale of any trees except in emer- gency hazard circumstances. The district court denied Earth Island's motion. Ell appealed the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. RULING, from page 1A suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; the balance of equities must tip in its favor; and the injunction must be in the public interest. Damrell found that EII had failed all of these tests. The appeals court found that he had appropriately applied the Winter standards. One judge on the three-judge appeal panel dissented. The decision has a greater effect moving forward as precedent than it does on the ground presently. According COACH, from page 1A for (Sacramento City College) to the detriment of FRC." To Small's knowledge, the CCAC has not acted on this com- plaint, but, according to court papers, Sacramento City to Forest Service spokes- or weakenedtrees. woman Lee Anne Schramel, The petition claims the because there was never an woodpecker is at risk of injunction, the agency went extinction because of a lack ahead with the work, which of burned forests in the state, is now virtually complete, the result of a century of In a move that could affect fire suppression and, more future salvage logging on recently, salvage logging. private timberlands, EII and in its Moonlight case, EEI the Center for Biological Di- claimed the black-backed versity filed a petition last woodpecker was one of the month to have the black- species the Forest Service backed woodpecker protected did not adequately consider in under the state Endangered its environmental analysis. Species Act. Both Damrell and the 9th Cir- The bird prefers post-fire cult found that the agency had. ecosystems, nesting in The Forest Service cur- burned trees and feeding on rently considers the bird a insects that attack fire-killed "sensitive" species. College did investigate thesince resigned." Trueblood's complaints and In a letter from SmalFs found them to be without attorney Keyser-Cooper to merit. Feather Publishing, she Further, Small alleges that quotes herself and co- the rest of the all-white attorney Diane Vafllancourt: coaching staff, which worked "This is one of the ugliest diligently to get him to race cases we have ever seen, quit his union-protected job, and we have seen some ugly marginalized him. ones in our 20 plus years' Small said that the "intol- practice ... FRC's football de- erable working conditions partment treated its young caused severe emotional black athletes in a despicable and physical distress. In and overtly racist manner, Aug. 2010 he left the college and what it did to Eric Small on a stress leave and has was even worse." Wh to Pa ul r h pe hein's ne it: ainst th What: Former college vice president and athletic director Paul Thein, former women's head basketball coach Laurel Wartluft and former Upward Bound direc- tor Michelle Jaureguito filed a complaint with the State Personnel Board in 2006, alleging they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle about gender equity issues at Feather River College. CO liege? ....... ~i~!~ ~!~i:~:: ~ :: !iiiiI:::!:L:~: !:~i::,, The latest: Last month, the State Personnel Board dismissed the complaints, finding, in essence, that the three did not qualify as whistleblowers. Background: The SPB com- plaints were filed in 2006. Following depositions and hearings, the cases were sub- mitted to an administrative law judge in May 2008. In June 2009, the judge issued a nearly 200-page proposed decision that found in favor of the plaintiffs. In July 2009, the SPB rejected the judge's proposed decision and asked for additional arguments from both parties. The board issued its decision, finding in favor of FRC, in October 2010. What's next: Federal law- suits are still pending in all three cases. Plaintiffs' law- suits alleging similar claims under state and federal law Paul Thein were scheduled to be tried in the United States District Court in cra nentqFnext year. Following the SPB deci- sion, that court asked all parties to submit arguments on whether or how the SPB ruling could affect the federal cases. Those arguments are scheduled to be heard Feb. 25, 2011. Reaction: Thein said that state and federal standards for whistleblowers are differ- ent and he is looking forward to having his day in federal court. His only regret, he said, was waiting so long for the SPB decision instead of proceeding in the district court. (According to court papers, both sides rel eatedly asked for postponements pending the SPB decision.) i i:ii :il :::i:!! ~i ; ,~iiiii!i!iiii: ........ We're asking each of you to spend at least $100 of your holiday shopping budget right here in Plumas County. If each of our readers* spent $100 in Plumas County it would put $1,853,000 back into our local economy, We would be keeping our money here...right here in our own community. We can do this even with simple things like getting our cars serviced or our hair done before we travel. *Based on an average of two readers per newspaper, Help your community prosper by shopping locally, If you do, we will all be helping each other, Isn't that what the holidays are all about? FEATHER PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. Feather River Bulletin, Portola Reporter Indian Valley Record Chester Progressive A&D, from page 1A Cunan said he often had encounters with parents ask- ing him why the county told him the money would be wouldn't offer their children given to other counties if services and because of this Plumas didn't accept it, as he would continue to pursue has happened in the previous this cause "regardless of how two years, long you wait, or what you The memo argued that throw atme." Plumas didn't need to have a "I'm going to come to every department to accept the board meeting between now funds and could subcontract and when we do have an with private organizations or alcohol and drug program so another county to provide that when I do face these services, basically funneling parents of these teenagers I the money through the can look them in the eyes and county without having to tell them that I did at least hire new employees, everything possible to allevi- In his public comment in ate the tragedy that's happen- November, Cunan said the ing in this, the only county people at the state "figure (without alcohol and drug they will prorate the amount services) in California." we are not using day by day After Cunan's comment, since the fiscal year started." Thrall asked County Counsel "Every day we're losing Craig Settlemire to comment $1,400. Since I put this in on the county's position. front of the board over a He responded, "There are month ago, the county has pending issues with regards lost $50,000 in Alcohol and to personnel matters relating Drug Services money." to the former alcohol and "If you wait another month drug program. it will be another $50,000. If "There's also audits that you wait till I leave oSfice, are pending with the state which appears to be the case, and those issues we're trying it'll be another $100,000." to resolve at this time before He added that he spoke we implement, another pro- with people at the state level gram." about the reasons County Cunan retorted that when Administrative Officer Jack the board put this topic on an Ingstad gave them for not re- agenda there would be "quite instating a program and "the a bit to say about both those representative that I spoke to issues and I'd be happy to be said that it didn't make any the one that does it if no one sense to her." else will." t J ~q I 4 f {; ~lnimn~~ntmm~ ~,