Acronyms & Abbreviations

Appendix 6: Economic Uses of the Watershed Lands

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Leases

There are a variety of leases on the Watershed Lands that have been managed by PG&E, as the landowner, in some cases for many decades.  These lease agreements, in general, have been extended through 2010 by PG&E and in consultation with the Stewardship Council.  The leases encompass a wide range of uses, including grazing, commercial facilities, recreational camps, infrastructure, mining, marinas, fish hatcheries, and weather reporting sites.  There are currently 238 leases on the watershed lands that encompass approximately 9,120 acres.[1]  Of these, 155 are on lands that are within the FERC boundaries.  There are also 127 existing leases for recreational homesites many of which are within the FERC boundaries.  Appendix Table 6-1 summarizes the number of leases and acres by county.  The amount of annual revenue paid to PG&E by each lessee varies significantly, with annual revenue ranging from less than $1,000 to almost $87,000.

Appendix Table 6-1  PG&E Leases

County

Number of Leases

Leased Acres

Alpine

0

0

Amador

3

1,297

Butte

49

378

Calaveras

0

0

El Dorado

0

0

Fresno

1

0

Kern

0

0

Lake

3

80

Lassen

0

0

Madera

9

218

Mariposa

0

0

Mendocino

3

8

Merced

0

0

Nevada

2

384

Placer

13

317

Plumas

118

363

San Luis Obispo

1

440

Shasta1

31

4,747

Tehama1

2

0

Tulare

1

18

Tuolumne

2

870

Yuba

0

0

Total

238

9,120

1 Grazing lease revenue from the Battle Creek Planning Unit is allocated between Shasta and Tehama Counties based on total parcel acres in each county.

 


Shasta County contains the largest amount of leased acreage, with approximately 4,700 acres of watershed land.  Amador County holds the second largest share of leased property, with almost 1,300 acres of watershed land.

Timber

Approximately 51,700 acres of the watershed lands are managed as timberland.  These lands are organized into Timber Management Units (TMUs).  Appendix Table 6-2 summarizes the distribution of these lands by county.  This analysis estimates timberland by county based on maps of TMU boundaries.

Appendix Table 6-2  PG&E Timberland in Watershed Lands by County, 2005

County

Timbered Acres1

% of Total

Alpine

900

1.7%

Amador

2,250

4.4%

Butte

2,800

5.4%

Calaveras

150

0.3%

El Dorado

0

0.0%

Fresno

100

0.2%

Kern

0

0.0%

Lake

3,050

5.9%

Lassen

450

0.9%

Madera

500

1.0%

Mendocino

1,150

2.2%

Nevada

5,850

11.3%

Placer

5,450

10.5%

Plumas

5,350

10.3%

San Luis Obispo

0

0.0%

Shasta

22,200

43.0%

Tehama

300

0.6%

Tulare

0

0.0%

Tuolumne

1,200

2.3%

Yuba

0

0.0%

Total

51,700

100.0%

1 Based on timberland by timber management unit (TMU) data, provided by PG&E. Approximately 2,000 acres in 11 separate TMUs straddle county lines. In these instances, acreage was distributed evenly between the affected counties.

 

Shasta County contains the largest share of PG&E timberlands, with approximately 22,200 acres, or almost 43% of the total.  Nevada, Placer, and Plumas Counties collectively have another 32% of the utility’s timberlands, while Amador, Butte, and Lake Counties contain just over 14% of the total.  The remaining 11% is contained in Mendocino, Tuolumne, Alpine, Tehama, Lassen, Madera, Calaveras, Yuba, and Fresno Counties.

Currently, PG&E’s Natural Resource Management Unit manages its timber resources based on “sustained yield” and “multiple use management” principles.  Sustained yield requires that the amount of timber harvested fall below timber growth as a whole, allowing for long-term maintenance of the resource.  Multiple use management requires that all resources are considered in managing the land, including wildlife, timber, water, cultural resources, soil, recreation, man-made structures, and natural habitat.

Harvesting of timber on the Watershed Lands has occurred through green sales,[2] salvage sales,[3] and thinning sales.[4]  All green sales on private land in California require a Timber Harvesting Plan (THP) approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.[5]  Appendix Table 6-3 summarizes the history of timber harvesting on PG&E lands between 1994 and 2004 to offer a sense of the scale of PG&E’s timber harvesting operations.  Over this 10-year period, PG&E harvested and sold an annual average of 11.8 million board feet in green sales, 3.7 million board feet in salvage sales, and 3,000 tons of thinning material.  These sales led to an annual average of $5.6 million in gross timber sale revenue between 1994 and 2004.  Timber sales vary from year to year, according to management practices which follow a multi-year cycle of harvesting.

Appendix Table 6-3  PG&E Timber Sales, 1994-2004

Year

Green
(board feet)

Salvage (board feet)

Total
(board feet)

Thinning (tons)

1994

12,002,600

1,850,400

13,852,900

11,500

1995

14,938,400

8,074,900

23,013,300

16,200

1996

14,462,000

1,040,400

15,502,400

0

1997

12,326,700

4,448,700

16,775,300

400

1998

14,978,800

3,480,300

18,459,200

600

1999

15,977,500

100

15,977,600

700

2000

11,126,300

800

11,127,100

100

2001

3,497,700

14,016,000

17,513,700

0

2002

8,241,800

3,043,400

11,285,200

0

2003

8,953,800

2,839,100

11,792,900

800

2004

13,241,400

1,967,100

15,208,500

2,700

Total

129,747,000

40,761,200

170,508,100

33,000

Average

1994-2004

11,795,182

3,705,564

15,500,736

3,000

 

Recreation

There are numerous recreational opportunities on the Watershed Lands.  As part of its FERC license requirements, PG&E currently maintains and operates recreational campgrounds within the FERC boundaries, day use sites, and picnic facilities.  Because of their location within the FERC boundaries, these campgrounds, sites, and facilities will continue to be maintained and operated by PG&E going forward.  (These facilities are in addition to campgrounds operated under the leases described in Section 2.4.2.)

There are 41 campgrounds with a total of 1,130 individual sites, and 37 day use and picnic facilities, which contain 311 day use and picnic sites.  (Refer to the Volume II existing conditions maps for each planning unit for the specific location of existing campgrounds and day use facilities.) In combination, these facilities receive an estimated total of 175,000 visitors annually and are generally open late spring through early fall in the upper elevations.  Some low elevation day use areas are open year around.  Campgrounds provide tent space, tables and benches, fire pits and grills, refuse containers, water, restrooms and parking.  Most campsites require a fee and have an occupancy time limit of 14 days.  While most sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, group sites require reservations.

Endnotes

[1] Data in this section reflects the best available information from PG&E at the time of this writing.

[2] Green sales include the removal and sale of timber under a normal, scheduled process, and are the primary method of managing PG&E timberlands.

[3] Salvage sales involve removal and sale of timber damaged by fire, water, disease, and other factors.

[5] The THP serves a similar function as an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).