Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project title=
Reyes Peak Campground (courtesy photo)
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Source: Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest officials have completed the environmental review of the Reyes Peak Forest Health and Fuels Reduction project. Ojai and Mt. Pinos District Ranger Karina Medina signed the Decision Memo on September 30.

The Reyes Peak project addresses the impact of widespread tree mortality due to overstocking, drought and the devastating effects of insect and disease infestation across 755 acres that extend along Pine Mountain between state Highway 33 and Reyes Peak in Ventura County. The project is located within a federally designated Insect and Disease Treatment Area where declining forest health places the area at risk to substantial tree mortality over the next 15 years. 

This project will improve forest health by removing small diameter and dead trees from densely packed stands and using prescribed burning to reduce the understory biomass. The treatment of these areas will reduce unhealthy competition, enhance the survivability of the remaining trees, and increase the overall stand diameter. Trees between the 24” and 64” diameter would be retained unless they are dead or dying.

A combination of mechanical treatments, mastication of brush and smaller trees, and hand treatments will be used to reduce the stocking in selected stands and to change the structure of live and dead material in treated stands. Project design features applied during implementation will ensure endangered and sensitive species are not imperiled by the project.

For more information, please contact Project Leader Greg Thompson at (661) 245-7236 or at gregory.thompson@usda.gov or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58012.

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John Wiley Oct 06, 2021 12:27 PM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

Is fire more extreme due to climate change? I've seen many abstracts (and videos) on published forest and fire science claiming that to be well-documented. Our fire suppression strategy combined with hotter summers & warmer winters, mass extinction, loss of diversity, ecological imbalance, insect infestation, drought and flood - all leading to mega-fires that burn so hot the soil is sterilized. Maybe none of this is true, but I can attest that having flown over much of this continent at 1k-8k' above ground it's clear that vast swaths of forest are standing dead trees. Other vast swaths are burnt bare. I'm about to check out a PBS show on high elevation pine trees, and wonder if it might be related to this particular type of project. "Ghost Forests - In the high country, it's an uphill battle to save the imperiled white bark pine."

pstarSR Oct 07, 2021 07:43 AM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

What you are reading is true, and frightening. But the “fire sterilization” wasnt a permanent thing. It was a layer they observed that took quite a while to “wear off”. This also contributes to mud flows. Soils thats gotten so hot its waxy and repels water. All good things to know and understand

SBZZ Oct 06, 2021 09:44 AM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

After intense public opposition, the LPNF approved this project – there, fixed the first sentence. Forest “health” – what a crock. People use that term to push their agendas. This is nothing more than a job creation project. The science that went into this decision was sketchy at best.

ZeroHawk Oct 08, 2021 10:15 AM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

sorry man that's just weird. doesn't make sense and you're just trying to wrap some sort of logic behind your statement...which still falls flat.
I ask again, how many times have you been to this location? How frequently? Do you even know what it looks like or how to get there? I would still have to say I doubt it on all questions. Especially since you sidestepped those to begin with. Fire suppression by humans. You really are digging deep to defend your former presidents directive.

Chip of SB Oct 06, 2021 09:33 AM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

Zero, this forest has become overcrowded and diseased. The reason that has happened is because humans imposed a regimen of fire suppression on an ecosystem that is adapted to fire. If humans do not allow the forest to burn for long enough, it will become overgrown, disease will take hold, and fuel mass will accumulate. Ironically, fire suppression endangers large trees because accumulated ladder fuels can kill a large tree that would benefit from more frequent and lower intensity fires. Unfortunately, fire suppression has been going on for so long that few people alive today have seen what forests looked like prior to human intervention. It’s sad that people today with the best of intentions are destroying our forests because they still believe fire is bad and that a forest can stay healthy without fire. We need more public awareness about the role of fire in our forests and how we can reintroduce fire. To that end, here is a paper on the subject. http://www.georgewright.org/243kilgore.pdf

ZeroHawk Oct 06, 2021 08:52 AM
Los Padres Issues Decision Memo for Reyes Peak Project

Chip, sounds like words from someone who believes we should rake our forests. "this work will help restore this beautiful forest to it's natural condition and preserve it for future generations."
1> how many times have you actually been there? I have been so many times i couldn't even count. I've been camping, hiking, backpacking that exact area since i was 12, over 40 years. I can tell you just about every detail of that spot and the trails and where they lead to. I've been up there during heavy snow fall, and during 100+degree heat.
There is nothing wrong with it. Your statement is just baffling. Restore it to it's natural condition? DUDE! It's a forest and it's in its natural condition. Sending humans in there to rake the forest and prune trees and cut saplings down does jack squat. That's straight up dumb.
2> how is the forest, now, not in it's natural condition? the point i made above, is that i've been enjoying it for over 40 years, my grandfather and father and godfather all have been going there for many more decades...but according to you, it's not in it's natural state and we won't be able to enjoy it. Fact. Your words come directly from a thing trump said. Which is one of the dumbest things i've ever heard. I bet you have as much experience in a forest as he does. The forest is fine. Mother nature cares for herself without our intervention. We tend to screw things up for her. Fact. Look at the condition of the planet. Oh yeah, you're all for big oil, fracking, and more air pollution in the name of capitalism.

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