Monday, August 4, 2003

Lost Camp THP

I spoke at length this morning with CDF archeologist Jeff Dowling, about the Timber Harvest Plan for sections 22, 23, and 24, including the site of Lost Camp, an old gold mining town. This is THP code number 2-03-040-PLA, and involves 590 acres.

Jeff seemed to know all about me, from my opposition to a timber harvest here in the Dutch Flat Diggings, a few years ago. He was rather full of scorn and dismissal towards me and all my tree-hugging kind. I was a little surprised by the vehemence of his feelings. I tried to keep things on an even keel, but again and again Jeff took me to task for wanting to stop all logging.

Nevertheless, I obtained some useful information about the Lost Camp timber harvest. In brief:

1. The property is owned by Sillers Bros. lumber company. One of the principals, Andrew Siller, recently died.

2. The THP may or may not still be open to public comment. I should call the main office in Redding to find out.

3. So far as Jeff is concerned, the site has been adequately surveyed (by the Register Professional Forester and his assistant, Dave Levy and Steve Furlong), and all historic sites well protected. He says that the steeper slopes will be helicopter logged, and that impacts using this method are so light that there is no restriction upon where trees may be taken. Jeff has, in the past, walked "all over" that area.

4. Jeff says the harvest itself will likely not take place for one to one-and-one-half years.

5. Jeff said, if I want TNF to own Section 23, then, don't wait for TNF to find the money, find it myself, contact Siller Bros., and hope for the best.

6. If I have any concerns about protection of historic and archeological sites in this THP, I should write to Rich Jenkins, CDF, 6105 Airport Road, Redding CA 96002. If I do write, Jeff will receive a copy of my letter, and, (sigh) he and Rich will then have to go out and re-survey the area themselves.

Such is what I learned about the Lost Camp THP. I have not yet seen the THP myself. It may be, as Jeff characterized it, a rather benign timber harvest, as such things go.

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