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.
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: