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“But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything.”

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Land Trust Alliance

 

An Investment in Conservation: Effort Would OK Recreation, Control Logging

Record-Searchlight

By Damon Arthur
October 25, 2011

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PHOTO BY ARNE HULTREN/ROSEBURG FOREST PRODUCTS
Roseburg Forest Products has agreed to putting a conservation easement on 8,000 acres of its land in northern Shasta County. The easement would continue to allow logging, but prevent other types of development.

 

About 8,000 acres of private forest straddling Siskiyou and Shasta counties may soon be set aside for public use and wildlife protection.

The Pacific Forest Trust and Roseburg Forest Products are working on a conservation easement that would prevent the land from being subdivided and sold off in pieces. It would also put further restrictions on the way the land could be logged.

The Forest Trust is paying $7.8 million for the easement. In return, Roseburg will manage the land in a way that trust officials say would protect fish and wildlife and open the private land up to public use.

The agreement will keep the land in logging and preserve jobs in Siskiyou County, said Connie Best, Co-CEO of Pacific Forest Trust.

"It's an added source of revenue for the company," Best said. "It shows how conservation helps in these tough
economic times."

The trust hopes the money to buy the easement will come from the taxpayer-funded California Wildlife Conservation Board, which meets Nov. 17 to vote on the proposal. The purchases would be funded by bonds authorized by Prop. 84, approved by voters in 2006.

Arne Hultgren, Roseburg's California resources manager, said under the agreement the company won't be able to subdivide the property for development, ensuring it continues to be used for timber production.

"Because this is in a timber production zone, then this is a model that you can ensure supply forever," Hultgren said.

Also on the agenda for the November meeting is a proposal to grant $1.1 million to the Western Rivers Conservancy and the state Department of Fish and Game to buy 600 acres along Deer Creek in eastern Tehama County, according to a preliminary agenda for the meeting.

The property would be set aside as a conservation area to protect wildlife in the area, as well as salmon and steelhead trout runs, the agenda says. That project would be paid for through the state's Habitat Conservation Fund, according to the agenda.

The Bear Creek easement in Shasta and Siskiyou counties will place restrictions on the title to the land that restricts how it is used. The trust already manages 5,000 acres in a similar conservation easement adjacent to the Roseburg property.

The two trusts border each other in a checkerboard pattern. The area is about 25 miles east of McCloud. The northern tip of the property straddles Highway 89 and the border of Siskiyou and Shasta counties.

The agreement would open up the land to non-motorized public use and require Roseburg to harvest less timber in the area and set aside more areas to protect streams and wildlife.

Best said the agreement would help protect Bear Creek, which flows through the property and into the Fall River, which has a problem with too much sediment.

Protecting Bear Creek will allow snowmelt to better flush out the stream and prevent silt from flowing downstream into Fall River, Best said.

Pacific Trust officials will have employees who will work with Roseburg to ensure the con-ditions of the easement are honored, Best said.

PHOTO BY MEGAN WARGO/PACIFIC FOREST TRUST
Pacific Forest Trust officials say the 8,000-acre conservation easement will protect wildlife and streams
on the property in northern Shasta and southern Siskiyou counties.

 

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