San Jose Water Company (SJWC), a wholly owned subsidiary of SJW Corp. has submitted a Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). The NTMP proposes to harvest, in stages, timber from approximately 1,000 ac of SJWC's watershed properties in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Big Creek Lumber Company, Davenport, Calif., recognized state-wide and nationally for its sustainable forestry practices, has been contracted to develop the NTMP and harvest the timber.
"Actively managing our forestlands is an appropriate long-term strategy that serves to protect and preserve our watershed," senior vice president of operations George Belhumeur explained. "The NTMP is just one component of a comprehensive land management strategy that addresses the protection of water quality, the prevention and response to fires and the overall health of our forests."
The 1,000 ac are divided into nine separate units ranging from 80 to 100 ac with eight contiguous to the Los Gatos Creek Watershed upstream of Lexington Reservoir. The remaining unit is located in the Briggs Creek drainage. The NTMP, which requires sustainability, proposes to selectively log one unit every two years with active harvesting taking place for approximately six weeks in each unit. It is expected to take 16 years to complete the initial harvest of this forest, and re-entry is dependent upon the rate of forest growth. Selective harvesting is proposed and results in the forest stands being thinned and not clearcut.
CDF will lead the review process and is the lead agency responsible for ensuring the NTMP complies with California's Forest Practice Act. Other agencies involved in the review process will include the California Department of Fish and Game, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Geological Survey and the Santa Clara County Planning Department. The public also has the opportunity to provide comment during the public comment period, which begins once CDF accepts the NTMP for filing.
Source: San Jose Water Co.