Squaw Valley resident’s logging plan approved by CDF | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Squaw Valley resident’s logging plan approved by CDF

Melissa Vinitsky, Tribune News Service

SQUAW VALLEY — This summer, Squaw Valley will be able to add logging to its list of controversial projects.

After a nine-month review process, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recently approved a Squaw Valley resident’s plan to harvest up to 19 acres of timber on his property adjacent to a residential area.

Despite neighbors’ concerns of potential environmental and aesthetic impacts, the CDF determined that with mitigation measures the timber plan would not adversely affect the surrounding area.

Squaw Valley residents are disappointed in the decision but acknowledge the landowner’s right to use his property for its zoned purpose.

Ciro Mancuso, a 20-year Squaw Valley resident and developer of Hidden Lake Properties and the Pioneer Commerce Center in Truckee, was granted approval on April 14 to proceed with his plan to harvest timber from 19 of the 24 acres he owns at the end of Tiger Tail Road.

He intends to sell the timber to a lumber mill and graze horses on the property, and also hopes to make the area more fire safe by thinning the forest and putting in an entry road.

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In a 15-page document, the CDF responded to questions and concerns it received during the public comment period last September. Bill Schultz, CDF Deputy Chief for Forest Practice, said he received more than 50 letters, in addition to a number of phone calls, from residents opposed to Mancuso’s logging plan.

Because of the large number of concerns, the CDF conducted two field inspections, one in August and another in October.

One major issue raised by residents was fear that logging could make an area already prone to avalanches and mudslides even more dangerous. However, a review team reported that it found no evidence of avalanche activity, such as uprooted trees, broken treetops and missing limbs.

Concerns about erosion and flooding were also addressed by taking steps to avoid problems, such as including installation of water breaks on roads and skid trails, the removal of all culverts by Oct. 15, and mulching and seeding the crossings along the temporary road.

Mitigations were also included to reduce the risk and inconvenience to neighbors.