To manage fire hazards and gain some income, the YMCA has applied to the California Division of Forestry (CDF) for a timber harvesting permit, in perpetuity, for its Camp Jones Gulch property in La Honda. The permit would allow it to harvest 60 percent of redwoods and firs 18-inches or larger, every 15 years. Old-growth trees would be protected -- with some exceptions.
Camp Jones Gulch is familiar to generations of San Mateo County schoolchildren as the location of the week-long Outdoor Education program.
Key issues in the debate over the logging plan are maintaining and restoring the land, reducing fire hazards, protecting the remaining groves of old-growth redwood trees, and protecting the marbled murrelet, an endangered sea bird that nests in old-growth and some second-growth forests.
The CDF is not expected to make a decision on the logging permit for several months.
The YMCA held a meeting on Dec. 3 to explain its position to a skeptical crowd. An Almanac story about the logging plan can be found here: Web Link