Dear Residents of Sky Valley,
Historically, Sky Valley has been completely clearcut several times. If we persist in doing nothing, toxic chemicals will continue raining on us and the Valley will look as ugly and brown as ever. This is very real and serious.
Here are some updates and outcomes of SVENA (Sky Valley Environmental Alliance) meeting last Monday October 26, 2015:
LOGGING AND SPRAYING: REVIEWING FPAs (FOREST PRACTICE APPLICATIONS)
We hope that in not-so-distant future there will be big changes in Olympia that improve forest practices in Washington State. Before this happens, there is a chance to slow down or stop some of the destructive tree farming practices here in the Valley by becoming a reviewer of Forest Practice Applications that are sent from tree farmers to DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and by commenting on the Applications. Quality and quantity matter. The review system is online and available to the public. It might be useful to have a team and a coordinated effort. At this point, we have one reviewer in Monroe and I will become another for Sultan. It would be good to have at least two reviewers for each town area. Please think about it and let me know if you would like to help the Valley, yourself and your family and become a reviewer. I will walk you through 3 simple steps for becoming a reviewer. After a bit of practice, reviewing and commenting can become efficient and should not take much time.
I had a two hour meeting with Rich Dodd, local DNR Rivers District Manager and Steve Huang, local DNR Forester. They are responsible for reviewing and approving FPAs. They showed to me geologic, topographic and risk assessment maps and assured me that a chance of a landslide of the steep logged off ridge behind my home is small. But they could not say that there is no risk. We also discussed chemical spraying in the area. I pointed to Rich and Steve that we should have good communication and make things work for all: tree farmers, DNR and, most importantly, for Sky Valley Residents.
Campbell Global and Weyerhaeuser are the largest tree farm managers/owners in the Valley. Here is a message from Mark Baugh, a forester of Campbell Global (who manages the tree farm at the top of the ridge behind my home North of Sultan Startup Rd. that was logged and then sprayed for three days from a helicopter around September 20):
Each unit is reviewed before spraying to determine what competing vegetation is in the stand, so the mix would be different for some of the stands. Some of the stands are site preparation applications and some are release applications. The one unit I believe is nearest to you, (Sultan-Startup Road), would be the property we have in Sec. 27, T28N08E. That was a release spray on 115 acres. The chemicals and rate of application were as follows:
Alligare Glyphosate 5.4 30 oz./acre
Rotary 2 SL(Imazapyr) 2 oz/acre
SMF Extra (Oust) .5 oz./acre
SuperSpread MSO 4 oz./acre”
Glyphosate is a potent herbicide linked to cancer. Please google “widely used herbicide linked to cancer” for more info and articles in many prominent publications.
Imazapyr is a potent and toxic herbicide. More info for Imazapyr is here.
Oust is a potent and toxic herbicide. More info for Oust is here.
SuperSpread MSO is a toxic surfactant. More info for SuperSpread MSO is here.
These and other tree farming chemicals contaminate and harm wetlands, streams and rivers and everything in and around them. If you are interested, I have a file and can send it to you with a study about this by Department of Ecology titled “EFFECTIVENESS OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR AERIAL APPLICATION OF FOREST PESTICIDES”. Please let me know if you are interested to have the file.
A letter to the Snohomish Health Board should bring more attention to this situation in the Sky Valley and to this tree farming practice. Please let me know if you object to the letter or have other ideas.
LOGGING IN SKY VALLEY
There was a suggestion at the meeting that we request a hearing titled “Impact of logging on public health/safety, home values and tourism industry in the Sky Valley” at the Natural Resources and Parks Committee in Olympia and address this request to our Senator Kirk Pearson (who is also the Chair of Natural Resources and Parks Committee). Please let me know if you object to sending out this request or have other ideas.
MOONBEAM AND SINGLETARY TIMBER SALES
Moonbeam and Singletary Timber Sales border Wallace Falls State Park and are a gate to more timber harvesting in the future next to the Park. They were recently sold despite the protests and attempts of many people and organizations to stop these timber sales or find alternatives. Both timber sales are on state land.
According to Ben Hale, DNR Recreation Manager at the Northwest Region, the purchaser is finishing up the road construction for the Moonbeam Timber Sale. Harvesting of timber will be postponed until spring due to regulations. There were problems with hikers going beyond triple signs “No trespassing” at the road construction area with heavy equipment. The trespassers were just curious explorers, not protesters.
Regarding the Singletary sale, they are moving through the Snohomish County Shoreline permit application process for a bridge. I have asked you to send your comments for this application to PDS – Snohomish County Planning and Development Services. After our request, the due date was extended and has not yet been set.
Now we have an opportunity to submit more comments regarding the bridges for the Singletary Timber Sale to DNR and also to the Snohomish County. There are several reasons for this: 1) there is real concern about bridge construction on May Creek and tributaries negatively impacting water quality, shoreline vegetation, fish, and other aquatic life; 2) the bridges allow access to roads right into Singletary and future timber sales. Cutting off the bridges would make them a much more expensive proposition, thereby getting them more interested in non-logging alternatives; 3) conflict and public exposure at the County level draws media and public attention.
Please CC others and encourage friends, family, and other contacts to submit comments as well. Both quantity and quality matter. I have attached as a file comments by Chuck Lie, resident of Gold Bar.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; Frank.Scherf@co.snohomish.wa.us
CC: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Title of your comments: 15-114333-000-00-SHOR WDNR May Creek Bridge (Singletary Timber Sale) Comments and SEPA Comments
Suggested text of your comments (please write your own comments based on the points provided or you can copy and paste this suggested text in your message and add your own observations/opinions):
I would like to request public review by a County hearing examiner.
I would like to emphasize my local roots and that tourism associated with Wallace Falls is a vital part of the local economy, and that logging is a short-sighted and destructive option that largely sends money elsewhere.
I would like to request full consideration of all cumulative impacts, both from the bridges and the logging they will allow. This includes the Singletary sale as well as future sales that will rely on the bridges and road.
I would like to request consideration and disclosure of all impacts to aquatic life from bridge construction, maintenance, and use.
I would like to request analysis of the impacts to views from Route 2 for visitors, and the impact on tourism.
I would like to state that there must be a SEPA analysis of the bridge permits that is public, transparent, and concurrent with the bridge approval process.
I would like to discuss any impacts you are aware of that may occur: damage to water quality, downstream impacts such as fish spawning or habitat degradation, etc.
I am concerned with the use of fill in bridge construction and erosion into waters.
I would like to note any deviation from the Shoreline Management Program, the Comprehensive Plan, or Development Regulations.
- PROPOSED HYDRO PROJECT ON THE SOUTH FORK SKYKOMISH
SnoPUD is completing its mandatory studies and is expected to file an application with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for a license in the near future. The ongoing landslide immediately adjacent to where they want to blast out a 22′ diameter tunnel has no apparent impact on their plans. Please let me know if you would like to have more info.
As always, thank you for helping to make Sky Valley more healthy and beautiful.