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Old Growth Western Juniper

Big Sage Allotment Thinning Project Phase I, October 2012 Update.

Firewood cutters begin illegally cutting the standing old growth juniper left by the MNF on the eastern section of the project.

The eastern section of the Big Sage Allotment thinning project is about four miles southeast of the western area documented on previous web pages. On the western part we were able to survey 50.9 acres of this 1200 acre juniper thinning project and documented that over 80% of the protected old growth juniper were cut down by the Forest Service.

In May 2012, we quickly walked a 3.5 acre section of the eastern part of the Big Sage project and documented 17 old growth juniper cut down by the Forest Service. There were many more old growth juniper evident in this area that had also been cut down by the Forest Service during the thinning project. We did not have time to do a more thorough job since the Forest Service opened this project to firewood cutters about this time.

All trees that the Forest Service cut down on the Big Sage Allotment were lopped and scattered. As on the western part, on this eastern part they left a few old growth juniper standing. Some were in groups and some were left as individuals.

On October 19, 2012, we noticed a couple of old growth juniper on the eastern section of this project that had been newly cut down and left. On further inspection, we found that firewood cutters were now illegally cutting the old growth junipers that were left standing by the Forest Service. In one group of old trees left by the MNF, the wood cutters cut down four old growth juniper. In another group, they cut down three old trees.

The foliage on all seven of these cut old growth trees was still very green and pliable. These seven trees obviously had been cut within the two weeks prior to October 19.

This project run by the Modoc National Forest has been mismanaged from the start.

These are the two old growth juniper we were able to see from road 43N18. They really stand out since all the trees previously cut by the Forest Service were lopped and scattered. Wood cutters have been allowed to salvage the downed juniper cut by the Forest Service since May 2012 so there is not much left on the ground to see.

The measuring stick has six inch increments.

Pictures of the seven old growth juniper illegally cut by firewood cutters from the standing old growth juniper left by the MNF on the Big Sage Allotment Phase I Project.

Click on each picture for a larger view.