(Last Revised October 2005)
Barn Gulch (THP 1-95-315MEN) was a harvest plan of concern to some locals. The plan was originally written in 1995 as a 194-acre commercial thinning. The plan was never logged at that time. In 1999, the plan was amended to reduce the plan size to 164 acres, with only 31 acres of the actual forests scheduled to be harvested as group selection. This change was due to the change of timberland ownership and a change of philosophy. The change to group selection was a much lighter touch on the land than the previously proposed commercial thin.
The MRC amendment to the Barn Gulch harvest plan reduced the volume proposed for logging by the commercial thin plan by 75%. The MRC rewritten plan retained over 80% of the trees in the harvest area, protected all the old growth trees, and gave 100% protection to watercourse buffers. Within the group selection areas, trees greater than 10" DBH were harvested with the exception of wildlife trees. All trees less than 10" DBH were retained to the greatest extent possible, for structure and enhanced soil stabilization. The areas outside of the group selection strips remain untouched.
MRC's amended Barn Gulch, fully approved by CDF, was then challenged in court. MRC personnel spent many hours out on the ground of this plan with local concerned groups and made further adjustments to the plan based on these discussions, before beginning harvest activities. Ultimately, in response to the court challenge, a local judge hear arguments from both sides and made a clear ruling to uphold the plan as submitted by MRC. Following the judgment in MRC's favor, MRC proceeded to harvest according to the prescription in the plan.