The Quartz Integrated Project is an 8,331 acre project area, located 22 miles southeast of the town of Cottage Grove – about a one hour drive away from Eugene. It is on publically owned US Forest service land, managed by the Cottage Grove Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest. This project area is in the Sharps Creek Watershed, which drains into the Dorena Reservoir. It is a well trafficked area for recreation, hiking, water sports, and other outdoor activities.
The preferred alternative of the USFS seeks to commercially thin 1,026 acres of forest. Some of these units are younger stands of 60-80 year old trees. However, as well as being intact and recovering ecosystems, many of the units contain stands aged 100 years or older. Many of these older stands contain old growth remnant trees.
Besides being valuable unto themselves, these remnant old growth areas are a prime habitat for the red tree vole – a Survey & Manage species,
under the Northwest Forest Plan. According to the Quartz Project EA, only 13 trees were climbed to search for red tree voles. We believe there are many, many more occupied red tree vole habitat areas in the Quartz Project area. As of Sept 19, NEST has found and documented more than 30 red tree vole nests, within the Quartz Integrated Project. None of these areas have received protection under the preferred alternative (Alternative 2).
NEST urges supporters to submit comments regarding the Quartz Integrated Project. The area is located very near to Eugene – an easy location to visit, if people are interested in making a short trip. Of the three proposed alternatives, Alternative 1 – No Action – is our preferred alternative. We also ask that folks request that the area be thoroughly surveyed for red tree voles (a rare species that receives required habitat protection, under the USFS’ own survey & manage guidelines) and that citizen nest survey data – found by experienced NEST volunteer surveyors – be accepted.
Please send all comments (postmarked by the Sept 26, 2014 deadline) regarding the Quartz Integrated Project to:
Joseph Linn, District Ranger
Cottage Grove Ranger District
78405 Cedar Park Road
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
NEST has found 17 red tree vole nests in unit 40 of the Green Mountain project (timber sale). 3 of these nests were nests that the contract climbers didn’t find in their trees (or the tree vole recolonized the tree after they had climbed it because they had only found “inactive” nests in the tree and we found fresh green resin ducts and cuttings). Pictured above is a nest in a huge old growth remnant tree that the ground surveyors and contract climbers missed. This is the map of unit 40. There are 17 circles representing 17 RTV nests located by NEST volunteers. Each circle represents a 150′ radius around the tree, a minimum average tree length radius around the tree. The red circles are trees we believe to definitely contain active red tree vole nests. The yellow circles are inactives, and the pink are trees that could be labeled either way depending on the biologists subjective judgment of whether or not the resin ducts in those particular nests are “green” enough to be labeled active. There are potentially two buffers: one containing 15 or 11 nests, and another buffer containing 1 nest. There could be one big buffer compromising the whole unit, but if they want to maximize timber output and follow the bare minimum of the management guidelines then they would draw 2. Following the management guidelines the everything behind the black lines should be buffered from any ground disturbing activity. The only discrepancy would be the 4 nests inactive nests in the southwest corner of the unit. They wouldn’t have to be included in a buffer because, technically, they are too far from an active tree vole nest (according to the management guidelines any inactive that is 100m from an active nest is to be included in the habitat buffer). If the biologist is not looking to protect these 4 inactives, then the brown line diverging from the black line would indicate the buffer zone. The buffer with one nest tree will most likely have its buffer drawn outside of the unit (and across the road) in a forest that looks like it must have been thinned, if that forest is still considered “suitable habitat”. If not then they would have to completely buffer out unit 40. At any rate, it looks like even given the situation of the minimum amount of buffers provided for, there is about a 15 to18 acre reduction in unit 40, which is about 25 acres. Also of interest in unit 40 is the spotted owl seen in the photo. He/she spent two days with the NEST surveyors in unit 40, basically hanging out while we climbed trees. Still to come is the results for unit 41, about a 10 acre unit. We have already found 4 red tree vole nests, 3 of which are active.
Summer is back, and NEST is preparing to strike out in the field to begin our 2014 summer survey season. We are scheduled to begin on July 9th.
Thanks for your support, and hope to see you in the woods!
It was a great fundraising success and most excellent party.
Surveys begin the 2nd week of July, this year.
See you in the woods!
You are invited to a Masquerade Benefit Party for NEST – featuring live music, a raffle, a vegan dinner bar, campfires, and more!
Saturday, May 31 in Eugene Oregon. Doors at 7pm.
@ 842 Almaden St. / Eug, OR
$10 donation. (No one turned away for lack of funds!)
– A Stick and A Stone – PDX meets Philly in heavy queer folk dirges. Dark. Thundering. Haunting.
– Hang The Old Year – anarcho post-prog/rock from PDX. Heavy tunes for wimps and weirdos.
– local Eugene Musicians
Raffle: There will be a raffle for items donated by local artists, including Mothillius Brewing Cooperative, Activation Foods, Dandy’s Pantry, Hootenanny! Prints, and more. Tickets will be available for $1 each. All proceeds will go to benefit NEST’s 2014 summer survey camp.
Costumes are welcome! Please bring your own cup and bowl, if you can!
Many thanks to the bands, local artists, and Agrarian Ales for your generous contributions!
This nest is one of the 1st active nests found this season. It’s a huge two story home loaded with fresh green resin ducts and fresh cuttings.
With midsummer upon us, the Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is gearing up to head out to the woods very soon! And we need help from folks like you!