The old growth western juniper woodlands of northeastern California are some of our
favorite places to be. The agencies (BLM, MNF) that manage the lands where these
ancient forests reside, have a 50 year plan (Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy
2008) with a goal of removing juniper from several thousand acres per year, to “restore”
the landscape to “pre-settlement” conditions. Old growth woodlands are often damaged
by these “restoration” projects. No enforcement by the Forest Service regarding
illegal wood cutting on the Modoc National Forest is also harming old growth juniper
woodlands. Cumulative effects on the old juniper stands in northeastern California
are becoming critical. If public agencies do not begin taking the protection of old
growth juniper communities more seriously, there will soon be few, if any, old growth
juniper woodlands left in reasonable condition.
One of our favorite old western junipers.
This old growth woodland is one of the few left that has not yet been impacted by
wood cutters. The Forest Service has not yet targeted it for a “thinning” project.
Each old woodland is unique and has its own location specific characteristics.
Increments on the measuring stick are six inches.
This gallery has images from several sites in northeastern California. Some of these
sites have been used as “restoration” projects by the federal agencies. Some are
sites currently being used illegally by wood cutters.