The Albany South Project is a resource management project of the White Mountain National Forest with vegetation, wildlife habitat, watershed, transportation, and recreation goals. Albany South extends from behind the north end of Kezar Lake in the area of Great Brook, eastward behind Keewaydin Lake and towards Route 5/35. Using a variety of harvest methods, logging will occur on 1263 acres within the Kezar Lake watershed.

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The Kezar Lake Watershed Association’s mission is “to preserve, protect and maintain the ecological, scenic and recreational resources of Kezar Lake and its watershed”. Because of Albany South’s potential impact and risk to our watershed, the Kezar Lake Watershed Association has concerns about the Timber Harvest Project as currently proposed by the Forest Service.

 

In order to diminish the risk of significant impacts to our watershed:

The KLWA wants the Forest Service to provide protection to the watershed from the following:
  • Adverse impact on water quality and water flow in streams, wetlands, and vernal pools
  • Adverse impact on native brook trout and spawning wild salmon
  • Adverse impact on forest wildlife – animals, birds, insects
  • Significant erosion, which is increasingly a problem with more frequent and intensive storms
  • Negative impacts due to construction of new roads, bridges, landings, and skid trails
  • Disruption of the forest floor and vegetation
The KLWA would like the following from the Forest Service:
  • Proper identification and mapping of all headwater streams
  • An increase of forested stream buffers to 75’ (from 25 ‘) for perennial streams and at least 25 foot buffers for intermittent streams, wetlands, and vernal pools
  • Timber cutting only when the ground is solid/firm
  • Reduced work during heavy public use in summer season
  • Contracts and active enforcement that require compliance with the Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines and the Maine Best Management Practices, especially all aspects of the timbering operations, such as marking (Unit boundaries, stream and vernal pool Riparian Management Zones), cutting, transportation, close-out and restoration

KLWA acknowledges the dedication and expertise of the White Mountain National Forest personnel. We expect them to insure that the Albany South harvests are done in a responsible way. We value their actively working with KLWA and the community to exchange data and to be open to recommendations on KLWA priorities such as water quality sampling, wildlife, fish and vernal pools.

KLWA has and will continue to meet with the US Forest Service and provide volunteers to help survey watercourses and map sensitive areas. We wish to remain active in strongly influencing the execution of measures that reduce risk and safeguard the environment of the Kezar Lake Watershed.

Additional Information: The US Forest Service defines the project as “An integrated resource management project that proposes vegetation management to improve wildlife habitat and forest health conditions, as well as recreation, watershed and transportation system improvements” Details are in the link below:

News Update 9/2015!   Learn More

Inventory of Requests in KLWA Draft Comments and Questions

REQUEST
  • 1. That all streams, wetlands, vernal pools and groundwater seeps that have been identified by Lucy LaCasse or others, be incorporated onto FS maps of Albany South
  • 2. That all perennial streams are buffered with a 75’ no-cut zone and that all intermittent streams are buffered with a 25’ no-cut zone
  • 3. That wetlands be protected with a 75’ no-cut zone
  • 4. That Stream Smart practices be utilized for all forest road stream crossings
  • 5. That portable temporary bridges be utilized for all skid trail perennial stream crossings
  • 6. That winter harvests occur under frozen, snow-covered conditions, or dry conditions
  • 7. That no logging or gravel trucks access Albany South via the Hut Road
  • 8. That the primitive campsites at the end of the Hut Road, alongside Great Brook be removed or relocated (though not to within the Inventoried Roadless Area).
  • 9. That disruptions to snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing, because of Albany South, be kept to a minimum.
  • 10. That the viewshed towards the North, from Kezar Lake, be preserved as is, with minimal visual impact from Albany South.
  • 11. That, under Alternative 3, even if a road use agreement is formed allowing the use of FR 722 as discussed on page 41 of the Draft EA, KLWA requests that no logging or gravel truck activity occur along FR 722 and the Hut Road
  • 12. That the FS develops a meaningful monitoring plan wherein the issues most important to protection of the watershed are assessed periodically as the operation evolves.
  • 13. That the FS comment more specifically in the Final EA on preparations for potential, sometimes unexpected extreme weather events.
  • 14. That FS include in the Final EA a Project Planning Chart (e.g. Gantt chart) showing the time phasing of each major component of the Albany South Project. KLWA recognizes that the Chart would be refined following the Final EA.
  • Please explain why the reconstruction of Forest Road 722/Stoneham State Snowmobile Trail involves such a large realignment ?
  • Please explain why in Table 36 (p.132) “other previously unmapped perennial streams” receive different buffering treatment. Comparison is to other “previously unmapped” or “mapped” perennial streams.
  • Page 150 of the Draft EA references plans to provide additional protection for two previously unmapped perennial streams. Why would these additional protections not apply throughout the Great Brook Watershed.
  • Given that 2001 Roadless rule does not apply to Inventoried Roadless Area #22652 (May 24 email from Pat Nasta), KLWA requests clarification on whether there are other administrative “rules” associated with IRA #22652
RATIONALE
  • 1. To understand and protect the complex hydrology of Great Brook and its tributaries which provide nearly 1/3 of Kezar’s inflowing waters.
  • 2. To maintain shading, water quality, water temperature, and biotic integrity; and to minimize erosion and sedimentation
  • 3. To minimize alterations to their hydrology, chemistry, temperature regime, and use by wildlife
  • 4. To help reduce sedimentation and to protect landscape level biodiversity
  • 5. To prevent or significantly reduce sediment inputs to water and prevent degradation of aquatic habitat; and to protect and enhance ecosystem benefits including maintaining landscape level biodiversity.
  • 6. Maine Forest Service’s BMPs to protect water quality during harvests.
  • 7. For the safety of residents and visitors, especially on the S-turn section of the Hut Road; and so as not to diminish the natural quiet of wilderness recreational experiences.
  • 8. Dispersed campsites causing unacceptable impacts that cannot be reasonably mitigated must be removed; and campsites should not be within 100 feet of a stream.
  • 9. Many residents and visitors utilize the trail system in the Great Brook Watershed for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing.
  • 10. Kezar’s pristine views are highly valued by the thousands of residents and visitors who contribute to our local economy and recreate on Kezar each summer, and to a lesser degree in the winter for ice-fishing.
  • 11. Industrial traffic on the Hut Road is unsafe due to the frequency of the truck traffic and the narrow, winding nature of the road, in particular in the “S” turn section of the road.
  • 12. To evaluate key parameters as they may be impacted by Albany South
  • 13. Extreme weather events have become more frequent with climate change and are likely to significantly exacerbate threats of erosion and sedimentation.
  • 14. Provides important and valuable perspective on the timing of major components and contracts of the Project. A clear delineation among the phases “preparation, construction, harvest and close-out” would provide a valuable road map for all interested parties