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Old Growth Western Juniper

Pictures of Illegal Old Growth Wood Cutting Site on Porcupine Rim.

Wood cutters often claim that old growth juniper is “safe”  when it is in the rocks. Our experience has shown us that this  is not true. These pictures show the condition of this site when the MNF Forest Supervisor visited it with us in August of 2011. Nothing was done by the MNF in response. The site continued to be used illegally throughout the rest of the season.

These pictures were taken  in July 2011. By then, the new road had become well defined and is about one mile long to the site. Once at the illegal cutting site, there is another mile or so of road  as seen in the last frame. There were several different wood cutters, primarily commercial, using this site throughout the season and the new road became quite well established.

Google Earth recently added new satellite images dated July 2012. These images cover most of the Modoc National Forest, including Porcupine Rim. We can now show what this area looked like before firewood cutters began illegally cutting the old growth juniper along Porcupine Rim. We can also show that there was no road to this area in September 2010 but now, July 2012, there is a well used new road created solely by illegal firewood cutters targeting the protected old growth juniper along the rim.

September 2010, no road and an untouched old growth juniper woodland.

July 2012. The new road is clearly evident. The reddish color, as the new road goes through the rim, is from the bark of old growth juniper that the firewood cutters bring back to the site to improve the road. The light colored patches to the left of the rim are where the old growth juniper were illegally cut for firewood. Notice that there are none of these light patches in the image before the road was created. The Forest Supervisor was shown this exact site in August 2011 just as the illegal wood cutting was starting. The Modoc National Forest did nothing.

September 28, 2013 update. The Porcupine Rim area continues to be used by wood cutters. The road developed early in 2011 by wood cutters to access this formerly untouched old growth juniper woodland has been in use now for over two years. The Modoc National Forest has not closed this area even though the Forest Supervisor visited this area with us in August 2011. The two images below were taken on September 28, 2013 and show the increased use over the years.