Posted March 21, 2009
SCA combined with the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) to provide comprehensive comments on the Idaho Department of Lands proposed logging for 2010. We focused on projects with predictable negative effects to Class I streams, such as Waffling Bear, Horton Breaks OSR, Hunters Echo Airstrip Thin, Lower Devil and Thinning Uleda. We took exception to the 75’ buffer (SPZ) provided by the State (per the Forest Protection Act) for Class I steams and the 50’ buffer (SPZ) for Class II streams as a means to protect stream quality, etc. We noted that the State has consistently refused to provide the scientific basis (if any exists) for these standards versus the much higher protection afforded by the federal government on adjacent lands of 300’ for Class I streams.
We also noted that the 2010 proposed Luckier Log sale (with 11 separate sites) and the Hunters Echo sale (with seven separate sites) are both within grizzly bear habitat, based on the boundaries of the State Bear Management Unit and they would introduce 2.5 miles of new road and an additional 3.5 miles of reconstructed roads into grizzly bear habitat. It was pointed out that new sales will only add more ineffective gates in grizzly bear habitat that would allow motorcycle and ATV use beyond them.
Recommendations made by SCA and ICL:
- Retrofit gates to provide absolute protection against vehicle use beyond them
- Decommission roads as appropriate to offset new road construction affecting streams and grizzly bear habitat
- Postpone or abandon logging projects in the State Bear Management Unit until the State could develop a roads management program equivalent to that presently used by the national forests.