Friday, November 23, 2007

Water Board considers action plan for sediment impaired watersheds

The Northcoast Water Quality Board has developed a Draft Action Plan to control sediment in watersheds listed by the State Board as impaired by excessive sediment. This will mostly apply to those watersheds which are listed as "impaired" by excessive sediment but do not have a specific TMDL "action plan" to control that sediment.

In the Klamath River Basin the Scott is listed as sediment-impaired but it has a specific action plan. Newly listed as sediment-impaired is the Lower Klamath (below Weitchpec). The majority of the land base in this part of the Klamath is controlled by Green Diamond Resources (aka Simpson) which – like other big timber corporations - still practices clearcutting on steep, unstable slopes. However, since some of the excessive sediment in this part of the Klamath originates upstream, the Action Plan may have implications for forest, road and watershed management upstream on the Trinity and Klamath, including on national forest and industrial forest lands.

On December 6, 2007, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board will consider Resolution No. R1-2007-0095, directing staff to execute the sediment control tasks described in the Work Plan. The agenda for the December 6th Board Meeting in Eureka is available at .

The Work Plan itself is available at .

Questions or comments on the Work Plan should be directed to Rebecca Fitzgerald at 707-576-2650 or

KlamBlog has not yet reviewed the Work Plan. However, Alan Levine of Coast Action Group is concerned about the ability of the Board to implement the Action Plan given work load and staff resources. Also, in previous sediment plans produced by the Northcoast Board key issues including logging road maintenance and clearcutting on steep, unstable slopes have been all but ignored.

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