** The deadline has passed. A big THANK YOU to all our campers and supporters who took the time to send letters to the USFS. We will keep you updated as we hear more and can determine what must happen next to preserve what we can of BTC and build back what was lost. **
Alert to all Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp: FOBTC board members have been following the US Forest Services Rim Fire Recovery Project and its effect on our beloved BTC and the entire RIm Fire area. We are very concerned that their approach may be to clear-cut much of camp more indiscriminately than we feel is necessary. The deadline to submit letters to the US Forest Service on this issue is THIS coming Saturday, June 14. Please use this boilerplate letter attached to write to them (either email or paper letter) or else use the talking points within the boilerplate letter to write something more in your own words or style. Remember, the deadline to submit letters to the US Forest Service on this issue is THIS coming Saturday, June 14. We need to keep as many trees standing as possible- please help.
Draft text for letter to USFS – please copy the text and send it in, then send it along to all your friends and family!
Please send this to:
Postal address: Stanislaus National Forest, Attn: Rim Recovery, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370
Or email to: email@example.com Subject: Rim Recovery
To the U.S. Forest Service:
As a Berkeley Tuolumne Camper I have been visiting the Stanislaus National Forest for _________ years. Each summer, our family spends many sunny days on the South Fork Tuolumne seeing old friends, hiking, enjoying camp traditions, __________, ___________. Like thousands of other Tuolumne Campers around the U.S. we were devastated by the loss of one of our favorite places in the world in the 2013 Rim Fire.
I am hopeful that we will one day return to a rebuilt camp, and I am encouraged by all the hard work the Forest Service is doing to restore the forest and improve recreation access.
There are a few points in the proposed Rim Fire Recovery Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement that I hope the Forest Service will emphasize in its decision:
1) Recreational Values: At Berkeley Tuolumne Camp in particular, salvage logging can improve fire safety but must also balance the need for recreation experiences and traditions. Since it is just a 14.5 acre site, I hope you’ll develop a “Special Treatment Prescription” that considers the recreational needs in this high-use area. I urge the Forest Service to work with the City of Berkeley, Tuolumne River Trust, and the Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp to plan safe, recreation-appropriate, and science-based salvage logging operations along the South Fork Tuolumne and other developed recreation sites. Berkeley Camp has a rich 91-year history and brought thousands of people into the Stanislaus National Forest each summer, supporting the USFS recreation goals. While there are many hazard and damaged trees that must come down, there are also some trees with only moderate or light burn damage, some that are recommended for monitoring, and some that were unharmed. With a “Special Treatment Prescription” we hope that the Forest Service will leave as many trees standing as possible. Since reconstruction is several years off, access to the camp can be restricted, reducing the hazard which burned trees might pose while allowing time for those that might recover.
2) Wildlife habitat: In the South Fork Tuolumne canyon, and the Stanislaus National Forest as a whole, USFS should provide much greater consideration to the at-risk, snag dependent wildlife. The means to do this is to adopt a modified version of Alternative Four by reducing the number of trees cut and leaving more snags in place. Spotted Owls and Northern Goshawks have been seen at Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, and we would like the Forest Service to protect this vital habitat.
As a longtime camper, hiker, ____________, _____________ in the Stanislaus National Forest, it is important to me that the salvage logging operations in the Rim Fire do not have negative impacts on critical wildlife habitat, and that the unique recreational values and traditions of the Berkeley Tuolumne Camp special-use permit area are taken into consideration. I support salvage logging in the Rim Fire Area, but only if balanced with habitat protection and recreational needs of National Forest visitors. Thank you for all of your hard work since the Rim Fire in helping our National Forest recover, and thank you for inviting public comment on this very important project.