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January 11, 2012     Indian Valley Record
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January 11, 2012
 

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.--) enville and all of the Indian Valley Area Vol. 82, No. 8 Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-284-7800 * www.plumasnews.com Wednesday, Jan. 1 I, 2012 i Dan McDonald week after the Forest Service less than Forest Service re- the incense cedar was about estimated. He added that by Staff Writer revealed the results of a ports had originally estimat- 10 to 15 percent less than the the time Pew Forest Products dmcdonald@plumasnews.com third-party review, ed. Forest Service's original esti- began the costly helicopter A review by a Forest Ser- The Forest Service has ira- mate. And it acknowledged logging last summer, most of Randy Pew said he needs a vice timber inspector from ditionally measured its that most of the smaller cedar the smaller cedar trees were check from the U.S. ForestOregon found that the Forest cruise accuracy by the total trees -- which made up more worthless. Service soon or his logging Service's original cruise esti- volume of harvestable timber than 25 percent of the total As a result, he said he's business will perish, mate of harvestable timber available. Under those estab- cedar -- had deteriorated by more than a million dollars He said he lost hundreds of from the 2007 Moonlight fire lished guideiines, its cruise the time Pew began the hell- in the hole and on the verge thousands of dollars in a For- was 98 percent accurate in was accurate, copter logging four years af- of bankruptcy. Pew said he est Service fire sale salvage terms of volume. The values of various tim-ter the fire. has been selling his logging operation. The review contradicted ber species tend to fluctuate Pew has maintained that equipment tobuy some time. But Pew's chances'of get- Pew's claim that the amountdepending on market condi-the amount of incense cedar Pew submitted a claim to ling a government refund ap- of timber, particularly valu- lions, was as much as 90 percent the Forest Service in August, peared even less likely last able cedar, was substantially The cruise review did findless than the Forest Service asking for half of the $751,450 he said his company lost in the initial phase of the sal- vage operation, called the Cairn sale. "I just asked for enough money to pay the people I owe," Pew said. But Forest Service contract officer Elaine Gee rejected Pew's claim Oct. 13. The contract officer works independently in the Forest Service hierarchy. Although See Pew, page 5A i 'Greenville resident grinds down a~weld on the steel deer sculpture he is making. He chooses a pose he is intrigued with and then studies 1:he anatomy before cutting into a flat sheet of metal. See his story and more of his sculptures on page lB. Photo by Aiicia Knadler Alicia Knadler Indian Val)ey Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com After only one legal burn day in more than two weeks, people started calling George Ozanich of the Northern Sierra Air Quality Manage- ment District. "What gives?" one rancher said to him. "We need to clear our fields for planting hay." Ranchers in southeastern Plumas County normally cdhtact him for the required permits, unlike those in the northeast. .............. Thursday, Jan. 5, was a no- burn day, yet a Greenville rancher was burning along Wolf Creek and a smaller debris burn pile was lit off on Main Street. When Ozanich arrived in the late afternoon to investi- gate, the man at the residence told him he'd seen all the smoke out in the valley and assumed it was a burn day. He quickly extinguished the small pile. Ozanich did not have enough time left in the day to drive out and find the rancher responsible for inundating the valley with smoke, but he did note that chimneys in town were spewing out just as much smoke as the small debris pile. The low inversion layer that trapped smoke in the valley was visible from the 'Greenville Elementary School playground just after lunchtime, though by the time school let out the smoke had shifted and moved toward town instead of back- ing up against Keddie Ridge. Ozanich is only one man and cannot be everywhere at once, he said. Statewide, regional and local air quality issues such as low inversion layers are among the reasons for no-burn days. Others include fire danger levels. Atmospheric data used to make air-quality decisions have been collected using weather balloons for more than 60 years. The balloons are launched twice a day from several different cities and airports throughout California and Nevada. Localized information is also collected from aircraft under contract to the Cali- fornia Air Resources Board. Often rainy days will be permissive burn days, but it is not because the ground is wet, as many might think. It's because rainstorms are associated with low at- mospheric pressure, and in- version layers are associated w~ higher pressures. If residents of Plumas, Sierra and Nevada counties experience poor air quality, especially if it causes cough- ing or choking, they are urged to call the air quality headquarters at 274-9360. See Burn. page 4A Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadier@plumasnews'cm The status of the American pika, a furry little critter that resembles a rodent, might soon be on par with that of the iconic spotted owl. Loggers, hunters, miners, cattlemen and other forest users could be among those affected if this happens. The Center for Biological Diversity first petitioned the This week's Sports Section is inside the Regional B section. l/l!!!!!!!!!!]]i To subscribe to the Record, call 530-283-0800 li California Fish and Game for management. They inhabit cool rocky Commission for the pika's Comments, data and other places, usually above the tree listing as an endangered or information must be sub- line, threatened species in 2007. milled in writing to the In California, they typically The center's efforts have California Department of live at moderate to high persisted, even after failures Fish and Game, Nongame elevations in the Sierra at both state and federal Wildlife Program, Attn: Nevada, southern Cascades levels. Scott Osborn, 1812 Ninth St., and mountain ranges of the After twice rejecting the Sacramento, CA 95811. Great Basin. proposedlisting, the commis- Comments may also be Pikas eat plants, store sion was sued by the center, emailed to pika@dfg.ca.gov, hay for long winters and The suit resulted in com- Ali comments received rarely encounter humans, mission members agreeing by March 15 will be included according to scientists at to r'econsider an.a'mended in a report due to the the National Oceanic and petition, which was submitted commission by the end of At-mospheric Administra- to the commission in 2009. October. lion (NOAA) and the Univer- The California Department The commission will allow sity of Colorado Cooperative of Fish and Game (DFG) was a 30-day public comment Institute for Research in the charged in February 2011 period after it receives the Environmental Sciences. with evaluating the amended DFG report and recommen- Climate change is con- petition, dation, before any action is sidered the primary factor The DFG had evaluated taken, that impacts pika popula- the original petition for the The petition evaluation re- tions in California, although commission twice before, port can be found online at mining, grazing, disease and This time the petition has dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ other factors may have an made it through the evalua- publications, effect as well, according to lion process and is now in the the DFG evaluation. public comment period as a About the pika The federal climate assess- listing that may be warranted. American pikas look like ment, done at the request DFG seeks public comment rodents, but are actually rela- of the U.S. Fish and Wild- about the pika's ecology, biol- tires of rabbits and hares, life Service, was the first~ ogy, life history, distribution, with fully furred feet andtNo climate assessment they ever: abundance, threats, essential pairs of upper incisors used habitat and recommendations for gnawing. See Pika, page 4A ctional officer wh f ac plea no Ruth Ellis Staff Writer rellis@lassennews.com A Greenville man could be looking at probation time in Lassen County after pleading no contest to charges of providing false documentation for an insur- ance claim andperjury. Todd Warren Posch, a former sergeant at High Desert State Prison, with- drew his former plea of once in jeopardy --- that he had already answered to those charges in Plumas County -- and entered a plea of no contest Dec. 6, 2011. Felony charges of provid- ing false statement to an insurer and grand theft were dismissed with a ~Iarvey Waiver, Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns saicl by changing his plea, Posch was admitting he did com- mit some of the charges, and he could be punished for them. According to plea hearing documents in the court file, Burns said it was his understanding the defen- dant was entering a plea of no contest on the condition that at the time of sentenc- ing the defendant would be granted probation for three years and receive, as a term of a condition of probation, no more than one year in county jail. The defendant was or- dered to probation to get the process started. Receipt of the report and sentencing is to come back to Lassen Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. In August 2010, Posch was See Plea, page 5A. i ::, i ::,