We had only a few flakes of snow Sunday morning, but Monday is starting off very cold. We’ve got 15 on the porch, and there is a very chilly wind blowing.
Here’s more on the Cooper Creek project from Georgia Forest Watch. They’re calling it the worst project they’ve seen in a decade.
- Over 80% of the stands in the watershed of Bryant Creek will be cut, threatening one of the best native trout streams in Georgia. Timber harvest activities, including the extensive road system that must be built to harvest timber, will increase soil erosion and raise water temperatures.
- Over 300 acres of commercial logging are proposed in an area that the Forest Service previously designated for dispersed recreation and “unsuitable for timber production.”
- The Forest Service is proposing to cut some of the best examples of mature, healthy oak forests and towering white pines. This includes one of only two old-growth stands in the area. Mature oak forests have high wildlife value because acorns are an important food source for a wide variety of species.
- The Forest Service claims that a dense forest canopy is unhealthy, “limiting hardwood tree diversity and wildlife habitat.” But abundant rainfall and fertile soils naturally lead to dense canopies on most Southern Appalachian sites. As trees age, some fall and create small openings that provide wildlife habitat and high light for young trees to grow. This process is already happening in the project area, and will increase as the forest continues to recover from the last round of logging.
- As much as 80% of the trees on 720 acres will be cut to “restore” woodlands (open stands with more sky than tree cover). But there is no evidence that woodland ever occurred naturally in the area. Herbicide will be used extensively to prevent trees from growing back in these artificial woodlands.