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2012 Annual Report

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Annual Report

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2012 Annual Report

Restoration Projects Moving Forward

Since the purchase of the Usal Redwood Forest in 2007, RFFI has been committed to restoring a landscape that had been severely degraded by aggressive timber harvesting, which had depleted the forest ecosystem. Together with their forest management firm, Campbell Timberland Management, LLC., they have conducted extensive forest and watershed restoration in Usal. RFFI and Campbell have consulted with experts from UC Berkeley, NOAA Fisheries and other agencies as seen in the photo below.

RFFI's Experts: Dr. Bill Dietrich of Earth and Planetary Science at
UCB, in yellow slicker, meets with other academic and fishery experts
and RFFI's Native American advisors, who were on an acorn orchard
planning tour led by Art Harwood.
RFFI's Experts: Dr. Bill Dietrich of Earth and Planetary Science at UCB, in yellow slicker, meets with other academic and fishery experts and RFFI's Native American advisors, who were on an acorn orchard planning tour led by Art Harwood.

Removing approximately 9 miles of roads and restoring watersheds has allowed salmon and steelhead to return to spawn in our coastal streams. Trout Unlimited and Pacific Watersheds Associates are conducting a road evaluation and will develop a work plan for restoring the Indian Creek Watershed. This watershed is a tributary to the South Fork of the Eel River, one of the most important salmon spawning grounds in northern California.

You can see in a photo below that a very large stump was placed on the eastern edge of Usal Creek in an area largely devoid of such large wood features. This large piece is likely to lodge itself in a place that will create an excellent pool and snare other floating wood. Together they will create the desired "habitat complexity" that fish and other aquatic species need for their life stages. These areas had been completely devoid of pools which are essential for salmonid habitat.

Large stump placed on the eastern edge of Usal Creek
Large stump placed on the eastern edge of Usal Creek

View our restoration videos:

Forest and Watershed Restoration

Clark Fork Restoration
Removal of 'stringer bridge'

Clark Fork, Standley Creek
Video: August 2009

Clark Fork Restoration
Results of restoration

Clark Fork, Standley Creek
Video: August 2011




Chinquapin Springs Acorn Grove

After three years of planning and community engagement, RFFI and local tribal representatives have established the Chinquapin Springs Acorn Grove in the Usal Forest, see map, to be used for acorn gathering by local Native Americans. Tribal peoples have traveled from all over California to learn from and advise the process. The grove will open up myriad possibilities including serving as a catalyst to bring tribal people together to teach their members and the community cross cultural respect for the land and to educate youth in traditional tribal ways.




RFFI Sends Logs to Market

On September 11, 2012, Shuster's Logging, of Willits CA, hauled the first load of logs out of the Usal Redwood Forest since the forest was purchased by the Redwood Forest Foundation in October 2007. Shuster's and Burns Trucking are making regular deliveries of redwood logs to the Redwood Empire Mill in Philo and Douglas fir to the Schmidbauer Lumber Mill in Eureka, supporting more than 130 jobs!

RFFI's first timber harvest began August 13, 2012 and will continue until rains sideline operations until spring of 2013. Trees will be harvested from three areas, totaling 284 acres: the Usal Creek, M&M, and Hales Grove areas. The areas, which may be seen on the project map, were selected for RFFI's first harvest because they were heavily populated with redwoods, had no resident Spotted Owls and could be harvested using selective logging.




Biochar Demonstration Project

RFFI's Biochar Demonstration Project was borne of an effort to address several environmental issues. It is conceived of as a beneficial alternative to herbicide application and open field burning, which are current methods for dealing with large stands of small diameter brush and trees that have filled in vast clear cut areas. We hope to demonstrate an economically viable method to remove this excess biomass that impedes the growth of conifers and redwood trees, increases vulnerability to catastrophic forest fires and negatively impacts the entire forest ecosystem.

Mobile biochar plants using pyrolysis convert woody waste into a saleable soil amendment that can increase microbial activity and the nutrient exchange capacity of degraded soils, reduce leaching, improve water drainage and infiltration, and adjust soil PH. Once buried, this product can serve as an effective carbon sink for years. The project is the work of a complex multi county community partnership. Partial funding comes from project partners as well as a grant through the Dept. of Water Resources, owing to the critical role forest soils have on water quality. We are currently seeking funds for operations.




Executive Director's Report
Tom Tuchmann

I am happy to report that RFFI has been making great progress this year. Briefly, we have

Tom Tuchmann
Tom Tuchmann
Acting Executive Director
Further, RFFI has undertaken a complex, independent analysis to inform the Board on the best methods for maximizing our environmental and social goals. In addition to the outstanding work done by The Campbell Group, we have retained the Baldwin, Blomstrom and Wilkinson forest advisory firm to help develop a new forest management model based on the funding derived from the sale of the conservation easement and Shady Dell. The resulting model will guide yearly timber harvest planning. This process is crucial to helping us meet our fiduciary responsibilities while providing the array of social and environmental benefits we all seek.

RFFI is also studying carbon sequestration as it relates to Usal. The good news is that RFFI's current plan for Usal sequesters tons of carbon. Unfortunately, based on a series of policy decisions by the Wildlife Conservation Board and California's Climate Action Registry, it is unclear whether they will allow RFFI to tap into this important market. RFFI will continue to work to make this happen.




Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc.
Board of Directors
  • Kathy Moxon, President
  • Candace Skarlatos, Treasurer
  • John Rogers, Secretary
  • Richard Gienger
  • Heidi Knott Gundling
  • Kendall Smith
  • Mike Balok
  • Greg Giusti, ex officio
  Kathy Moxon honors Art Harwood as a volunteer at the RFFI Annual Barbeque 2012
Kathy Moxon honors Art Harwood as a volunteer
at the RFFI Annual Barbeque 2012



RFFI Appreciates Foundation Support

Thank you, once again, to the Bank of America Foundation for their $50,000 grant to support our work. This marks the second time the Foundation has given RFFI a helping hand. RFFI thanks the Elise and Giles Mead Foundation for their two-year grant of $40,000 to help research and develop an ecologically and economically sound model for carbon sequestration and the role this important market can play for the Usal Redwood Forest. Giles Mead, scientist and philanthropist, is one of RFFI's Founders. His belief in our work prompted him to make an unsolicited $100,000 gift in the '90s.




Click to enlarge
Usal Redwood Forest 2012 project map


Working Community Forests
Please Help RFFI Get the Job Done

Thank you for your past support! Check out the map above to see what's happening on Usal. RFFI is a small, grass roots organization doing a BIG job. We need your support to continue to practice a high level of forest stewardship. Please help us restore the forest and its watersheds, conduct sustainable timber harvests, demonstrate new ecologically sound uses of forest products and open the forest to the community.

Donate online


or mail your gift to:
RFFI, PO Box 12, Mendocino, CA 95460




RFFI Puts Meaning back into Holiday Giving

RFFI is helping to redefine Christmas and Hanukah, too, for that matter. Remove the stress from the holiday season. Let your loved ones know you would prefer a donation to your favorite charity. Or consider a generous donation to an organization like the Redwood Forest Foundation - a holiday gift today and an investment in the future of our children and grandchildren. Make the gift in the name of a loved one; RFFI will let them know how much you care about them and their future. For more information about these kinds of gifts, please visit: RFFI Redefines Holiday Giving.




Plant a Redwood Now
A Green Gift for any Occasion

RFFI will plant young redwood trees in honor of a friend or loved one in a redwood forest in northern California. The Honoree receives an attractive 8" x 11" certificate suitable for framing with a customized message acknowledging you as the donor. These enduring gifts are suitable for any occasion. Visit Green Gifts for Holiday Giving.


 

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