21.6.10

CNWS Neighborhood Alliance tree cutting update


got an email from the CNWS NA:

• In January 2010, the public was notified that a “tree thinning” project would take place on the CNWS in the spring to bring the tree plantations in to compliance with an agreement the US Forest Service had with the Navy. CNWSNA steering committee members met with USFS to avoid any “mistakes” in the removal. A CNWSNA member who is a biologist joined us in the meeting. We asked that he be allowed on the property to preview the area to be cut. He agreed that some thinning was in order. We were told the thinning would be done in February or March. We requested that the US Forest plant new seedlings in another area on the CNWS to make up for the lost mature trees.

• This project actually started May 17, 2010, the height of nesting season. We were notified the week before. Despite resident’s requests to postpone cutting of trees on the CNWS until after nesting season the US Forest Service moved ahead with the plan and started cutting.

• On May 20, we asked the USFS to stop and emailed our members asking them to send emails and make phone calls to the USFS and Congressman George Miller’s office.

• While CNWS Neighborhood Alliance steering committee members worked to determine who was responsible and who could stop the tree removal process, agencies “passed the buck”. The USFS said the CNWS Fire Marshall ordered the trees to be cut. The CNWS Fire Marshal said he requested that significantly less trees be cut, and not during nesting season. The USFS said the Navy was responsible, the Navy said the USFS was responsible. CA Fish & Game could not get involved without “evidence” of dead animals. We were not allowed on the CNWS to collect evidence, however we watched as turkey vultures cleaned up on evenings and weekends when there was no cutting activity. We have asked that our biologist be allowed on the base, but our request has been denied.

• One June 7, after two and one half weeks of promised, then delayed meetings (and continued tree removal), four CNWS Neighborhood Alliance Steering Committee members met with representatives from the US Forest Service at Congressman George Miller’s office.

• In the June 7 meeting, Tim Howard, the USFS person in charge of the cutting admitted they checked for nests in February. When they started the project in May, they only rechecked the nests found in February. They did not check for new nests. Nest building season begins later in spring, not in February.

• In the June 7 meeting we asked the USFS once again to postpone cutting of the remaining trees in plantations 7, 8 and 9. Our request was denied and our meeting only speeded up the removal process. Trees on these plantations were removed on June 9 and 10.

• It appears that the USFS violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

• Not only were 50-60% of the trees removed during nesting season, some were removed in the areas of threatened and endangered species. See Special Species map below.

http://www.concordreuseproject.org/library/cac/Land_Stewardship_CAC_2008_06_05_v11.pdf


• In the process of the tree removal, heavy equipment was used. See ABC 7 tree removal video link below. This heavy equipment damaged even more nearby trees in the removal process.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=7447091


• What next? The CNWS Neighborhood Alliance is preparing documentation to send to federal US Fish and Wildlife for an investigation. When we were notified of the tree cutting in January 2010, members of our steering committee met with US Forest Service representatives to avoid this very problem. We did not want a repeat of the tule elk removal resulting in the deaths of some of the elk, or of the cow deaths last summer due to their water supply being cut off after a controlled burn. We want responsible parties held accountable for the destruction of wildlife during tree removal in prime nesting season. We want seedling trees planted to replace mature trees removed.

• If this is any indication of how toxic soil will be removed in the Bunker City area or any area on the CNWS, concerned residents should plan to attend every meeting regarding this removal.


Kathy Gleason and Steering Committee Members

CNWS Neighborhood Alliance

1 comment:

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