USFS approves expedited commercial logging project in Condor habitat, 4/29/19

Forest Service Approves Expedited Commercial Logging Project in Condor Habitat

Trees of all sizes will be on the chopping block as part of the project.

Goleta, Calif. – Yesterday, the Forest Service announced its approval of the second of two commercial logging projects in the Los Padres National Forest. The approval of the 1,600-acre project along Tecuya Ridge comes just five months after the agency authorized an adjacent 1,200-acre project allowing commercial logging in Cuddy Valley at the base of Mt. Pinos.

The agency fast-tracked both projects without preparing a standard environmental assessment or environmental impact statement, instead declaring that the projects were excluded from environmental review under a loophole in the National Environmental Policy Act. A full environmental review examines potential impacts to plants and wildlife as well as alternatives to the proposed activities. The normal review process also provides more transparency and opportunities for the public to weigh in with concerns about the project.

The logging area provides prime habitat for endangered California condors. According to condor tracking data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly fifty condor roost sites occur within a half-mile of where trees will be cut and removed. These roost sites are typically large dead or live trees that are used by condors for resting overnight between long flights. Federal standards require a minimum half-mile buffer from condor roosting sites to protect them from disturbance, given their sensitivity and importance in condor survival.

6 thoughts on “USFS approves expedited commercial logging project in Condor habitat, 4/29/19

  1. The decision—signed by Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott—

    Since the Forest Service excluded these projects from environmental review, there is no formal appeals process, leaving litigation as the only option for the public to seek changes to the project. ”

    anyone have any history on Kevin Elliot ? and what does Joe Burnett ( Mister Condor to you, sir.. ) think of this?

    yes, most peoples homes are built of wood and that wood has to come from somewhere, but this seems like a definite provocation.

  2. Is this still active? I have a friend who says she checked on this and the funding was previously proposed in the latest Farm Bill but then dropped so I’m a little confused and want to clarify. Thanks…

  3. Hi, Los Padres ForestWatch here. Thanks for sharing this, Kate! I just wanted to answer Annette’s question. This and another approved commercial logging project are still active. Both were fast-tracked through the environmental review process using what’s called a categorical exclusion. The projects were unrelated to the recent Farm Bill. Feel free to email us at with any other questions or I can respond here as well.

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