For the second time, the Forest Service is proposing to log in the Clear Creek drainage, a tributary to the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Clearwater that enters the river just above Kooskia. This is the Forest Service’s revised massive Clear Creek Timber Sale, erroneously titled the Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project, which was dropped by the agency in 2016 due to a lawsuit from the Nez Perce Tribe. The tribe owns a hatchery near the mouth of the creek.
All alternatives under the new analysis, except for the no action alternative, would massively log between 58 – 83 million board feet of timber. The Forest Service is likely to select the alternative containing the maximum amount of logging (over 8700 acres) with clear-cut units 500 acres in size! Old growth would be logged, ostensibly to improve habitat. More than 46 miles of new road would also be built. The least damaging alternative would propose 16 miles of new roads and “only” 7,300 acres of logging. Impacts to water quality and terrestrial wildlife habitat could be significant. The impact to rare species like fisher and on watersheds/fisheries – particularly steelhead -would be immense. There will also likely be negative impacts to moose, elk and other species.
The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement misleads the public by comparing apples to oranges when it comes to fish habitat and water quality. Thus, it is hard to tell if there has been any real watershed improvement over the past twenty-five years or if the water quality objectives for Clear Creek are currently being met. Overall, there is no scientific basis for doing this work in forest types found in Clear Creek. Indeed, the entire premise of the project is based upon faulty assumptions.
The upper watershed is on the National Forest and the lower has a mix of non-federal ownership. Much of the upper watershed does not currently meet forest plan standards for fish habitat and water quality.
Public comments are due November 13. Please use our below comment form or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project in the subject line.
You can mail comments to:
Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests
Attn: Zoanne Anderson
903 3rd Street
Kamiah, ID 83536
Clear Creek Timber Sale
This comment form is now closed.
End date: Nov 13, 2018
Signatures collected: 5