Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
SUNNY BRAESIDE – The Timber Harvest Plan (THP) filed by Baywood Golf and Country Club has been approved by the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
A letter dated Aug. 10 and signed by Forester II Chris E. Curtis of the agency’s Santa Rosa office notifies Baywood’s registered professional forester, Cameron Holmgren, that THP 1-17-044HUM, conforms with state forest practice rules, and that harvest operations may commence.
First filed in May, approval was delayed a couple of times as the agency required additional documentation and corrections. The harvest plan involved group selection cuts on about 73 acres of the country club’s golf course and adjacent lands. It includes limited winter operations, and is in effect for up to five years.
Baywood officials, who reportedly hope to garner $600,000 to stabilize the club’s finances, have said they’d like to get it done in two or three years.
Some neighbors opposed the harvest due to environmental, zoning, traffic, noise and safety impacts. The objections, including written comment and concerns voiced during review sessions, are listed along with their responses in one section of the THP.
A particular focus was narrow Buttermilk Lane, through which some 200 log trucks – six to 10 per day – will pass. Sunny Brae Middle School is located at its lower reaches. Initial safety mitigations were vague and unenforceable, but the final version includes somewhat more stringent language restricting truck passage. It reads:
“The log hauling route on Buttermilk Ln. passes by Sunny Brae Middle School. The area in front of the school has traffic congestion during school drop off and pick up times. To help mitigate for traffic congestion and child safety, Log truck traffic shall avoid hauling by Sunny Brae Middle School during the ½ hour before school starts and 15 minutes before and after school ends. The normal School start time is 8:50 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m. School ends early on Mondays at 2:30 p.m. The LTO [Licensed Timber Operator] shall obtain a current copy of the school schedule and shall provide log truck drivers associated with the THP a copy of the schedule prior to log hauling.”
SBMS’s online school calendar lists a slightly different time for the beginning of the school day – 8:45 a.m. – rather than the 8:50 a.m. listed in the THP.
Other traffic restrictions include limiting daily logging hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, with no Sunday operations. Nor will there be any logging on major holidays.
The THP documents may be viewed at ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_Coast_Region/THPs/THPs2017/1-17-044HUM/.