Sierra Pacific timber plans ‘satisfactory’ |

Sierra Pacific timber plans ‘satisfactory’

Concerns about water quality, slope stability and views from hiking trails were adequately addressed in Sierra Pacific Industries’ most recent timber harvest plan for property near Malakoff Diggins State Park, park officials said.

A deadline to comment on the logging project is June 1, and local environmental groups are scrambling to get a time extension and more intensive review of the site.

Park and timber company foresters met in October and March to examine earlier logging cuts adjacent to the proposed project and explore how logging plans would impact Humbug Creek and existing trails.

State park officials then submitted a letter to Sierra Pacific naming concerns about slope stability, potential sediment transport to Humbug Creek and visibility of clear-cut forests by park visitors on the hiking trails.

In response to the letter, Sierra Pacific changed their plans and moved the 100-foot buffer above Humbug Creek called a wildlife protection zone back 25 feet.

“We all felt that met our concerns satisfactorily,” said park superintendent Ron Munson.

Local environmental groups have said the area is steep and erosion from clear-cut logging would add sediment to the creek already impaired by mercury contamination.

“We didn’t find much evidence of slope instability,” Munson said

Tim Feller, Sierra Pacific’s Tahoe District manager says state park officials were apologetic after sending the letter.

“They said they would do anything they could to get the plan approved,” Feller said.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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