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Humboldt Redwood Company Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan Sal Chinnici Forest Science Manager Office:707-764-4299

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Presentation on theme: "Humboldt Redwood Company Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan Sal Chinnici Forest Science Manager Office:707-764-4299"— Presentation transcript:

1 Humboldt Redwood Company Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan Sal Chinnici Forest Science Manager Office:

2 Presentation Overview Background on Humboldt Redwood Co. History and Current Status of Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) Management Habitat Conservation Plan Survey Protocol and Effort Monitoring Results: Population Data Unregulated Threats to NSO Population Summary

3 Approximately 210,000 acres of coastal redwood and Douglas-fir forests Old growth reserves and HCVF (FSC) Over 1,000 Class I and II stream miles Primarily even-age management over last 20 plus years Uneven-age management since 2008 Humboldt Redwood Company

4 HRC: Significant Changes in Management Pacific Lumber –Harvest goal ~175 mmbf annually –Primary technique even-age (clear cut) –Harvest old growth where available Humboldt Redwood –Harvest goal ~55 mmbf annually –Primary technique uneven-age (selection and group selection) –Retain all old growth trees

5 History and Current Status of Northern Spotted Owl Management : THP-specific surveys and consultations with CDFG : Spotted Owl Management Plan (USFWS) : Spotted Owl Resource Plan (CDFG and CDF) 1999-Present: 50-year multi-species HCP (Federal and State Agencies), THPs under FPR (d)

6 HCP Conservation Strategy is a Habitat-Based Approach NSO Core Areas, RMZs, MWACs, MMCAs, and 10% LSH per WAA to provide suitable habitat over time Projected net increase of habitat under original management, but now have significant management changes Habitat Structural Component strategy provides important stand elements now and into future rotations – property-wide Currently approximately 28,000 acres of no-harvest (~ 13% of land base) Also currently about 21,000 acres of limited harvest with high canopy retention (~ 10% of land base)

7 HCP Conservation Measures NSO activity sites are categorized according to HCP, with focus on most productive sites: – Level One: at least 80 occupied sites, protection similar to take avoidance standards – Level Two: at least 28 occupied sites, 18 acre core nesting habitat – Level Three: balance of activity sites, harvest ok outside season All activity sites have 1,000 radius seasonal disturbance buffers March 1 to August 31, unless non- nesting, nest failed, or until fledged All known nest trees retained Annual reports and activity site information distributed to USFWS and CDFW each year

8 Northern Spotted Owl Surveys Over 20 years of survey history, 1991 – 2013 HCP monitoring: night and day surveys – Annual property-wide night surveys – Sampling strategy for night surveys approved in 2003 Survey ~ 20% of property annually using quadrat approach Entire property surveyed on five-year rotation – Daytime visits to ALL activity sites used for HCP management objectives THP surveys – Continuous operations surveys, or – 3-survey protocol prior to operations, PLUS – Daytime surveys of known and new activity sites

9 Survey Protocol and Staff Experience Survey protocol: use USFWS protocol methods Night surveys: swing shift does site visits and night surveys (average 5 biologists and techs) Follow-up surveys to night contacts, and additional site visits done by day shift (average 4 biologists) Staff Experience – Staff involved has from one year (field techs) to over 20 years experience (project leads)

10 2013 Monitoring Survey Effort The Elk River, South Van Duzen, West Shively, and Upper Eel sampling units (quadrats) were surveyed 808 calling stations were used to conduct 2,524 night surveys of the quadrats, Timber Harvesting Plans, and activity sites A total of 912 daytime status and follow up visits were conducted (average 4.2/site) All activity sites visited to determine HCP objectives for occupancy, reproductive status, and reproductive success

11 Survey Effort by Year

12 Owl Population Data Banding/Modeling HCP Monitoring: – Occupied activity sites – Pair occupancy – Reproductive rate

13 Since 1991 have captured and banded 747 spotted owls. In 2006 modeled adult survival: high, stable, and comparable to other study areas in region.

14 Monitoring Results 2003 – 2013 Density Appears Stable

15 Monitoring Results , cont. Total Pairs and Pair Occupancy Rate Appears Stable

16 Monitoring Results , cont. Nesting/Reproduction: Annual Variability

17 Comparison of Regional Reproductive Rates

18 Unregulated Threats to NSO Populations Barred Owl Invasion – Detections have increased over time – Increased presence can affect NSO occupancy, reproduction, survival Illegal/legal marijuana gardens are common on adjacent lands – Will we see evidence of rodenticide poisoning passed on through consumption of woodrats?

19 Barred Owl Distribution Have been recording barred owl detections since Detections are from spotted owl night and day surveys, and all other biological survey activities Areas of greatest activity near low elevation riparian and old growth reserves

20 Barred Owl Detections Within 0.5-Mile of NSO Activity Sites

21 Summary Points HRC lands have over 20 years of surveys and monitoring of the NSO population Population monitoring results indicate a dynamic yet stable NSO population HRC HCP provides long-term conservation benefits for NSO NSO habitat undergoes harvest and growth. We hope to improve owl habitat over time through uneven-age management and structural component retention Barred owl invasion and rodenticides currently represent the most significant, unregulated threats to the Northern Spotted Owl


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