Thousand-acre logging plan threatens Santa Clara County
The San Jose Water Company has begun to discuss ongoing logging of one thousand acres of land held in various parcels in Santa Clara County, much of it near Los Gatos and Highway 17. While no plan has yet been submitted, the company, a private business that provides water in San Jose and elsewhere, has indicated it wants to submit a Non-industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP).
"Non-industrial" does not mean "small," but rather that the land will not be managed solely to maximize timber production. Significant environmental impacts can still occur, and the company has indicated it plans to cut large trees. The NTMP process allows logging for an indefinite period, freezing current Forest Practice Rules in place even if they are found to be inadequate. The company appears to want to split its land into nine sections, logged for six week periods in each section, returning as soon as every ten years to the previously-logged section.
Such a large timber harvest could have enormous and permanent environmental effects on the land and the neighbors, including Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) land. Participation by the community residents, by MROSD, and by the County is essential to (preferably) stop the proposal, or at least to downsize it to the point where no impacts will occur. The Committee for Green Foothills has already been researching issues together with concerned neighbors and other organizations. When the company submits its proposed timber plan, many groups will need to be involved in a short time frame to examine it closely. We will be one of them.
Published November 2005 in Green Footnotes.
Page last updated September 13, 2010 .