The recent public interest in the cutting down of trees in the meadow behind Kids Lagoon at Lake Siskiyou has revived interest in the Lake Siskiyou Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan passed by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors in 2005.
The plan was several years in the making and the process was comprehensively covered by Southern Siskiyou Newspapers in 2004, including press releases from the county and reporting on the public hearings that took place in Mount Shasta at the Mount Shasta City Park upper lodge.
The 304 page NTMP covers every aspect of the plan including the reasons to manage the area’s vegetation, mitigations, and botanical, biological and archaeological resource studies.
“The purpose of the plan is to provide tong-term guidance for vegetation management around the lake,” the NTMP states. “Project goals are to reduce fire hazard, ensure public safety, improve forest health, protect visual quality, provide wildlife habitat, and ensure cost-effectiveness to the County.”
The plan assumes that Lake Siskiyou is “a high use recreation area” that must have a management plan.
“If nature could be allowed to take its course, management would not be needed. A let-burn fire policy is not feasible, however. Also, some of the meadows are remnants of past agricultural activities, and would revert back to forest if left alone,” the NTMP says. “And, as a high-use recreation area, Lake Siskiyou must be managed to provide public safety and ensure a high-quality recreational experience. Doing nothing is not a viable option for the County.”
The reasons for harvesting trees are to remove dead trees that pose a safety hazard, fire management including defending the Lake Siskiyou campground, clearing out diseased trees, pest management and restoring areas that are being encroached by trees, such as the meadow behind Kids Lagoon. The NTMP states that cutting trees will not be done for profit.
“Any income received from the selling of timber will be used to help offset the costs of non-income producing types of vegetation management,” the NTMP says.
The meadows project was a surprising development for those unaware of the NTMP, but the project is clearly defined in the plan including mitigations. The project will continue in the spring of 2014.
The complete plan with the studies is available at: www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/GS/docs/BoxCanyon/LakeSiskiyouNTMP.pdf.
Siskiyou County Director of Department of General Services Randy Akana said he will be speaking to the County Board of Supervisors regarding providing timely press releases for upcoming NTMP projects.