The San Jose Water Company in Santa Clara County, California, is currently seeking regulatory approval to log more than 1000 acres of mature redwood forest in the Los Gatos Creek Watershed. This watershed provides drinking water for approximately 1 million residents of Silicon Valley. The company sent this notice and map to local residents in August 2005. Many residents found it confusing and difficult to understand.
In order to develop a deeper understanding of the proposed logging plan, local community members are using Google Earth as a three-dimensional, geographic "canvas" on which to visualize the lands proposed for logging, as well as to place them in the context of adjacent residential parcels, schools, open space land, existing old growth redwoods, wildlife habitat, 3D slope gradients, and the local watershed topography. They are also using it to share information about the plan with other concerned environmentalists, expert advisors, elected representatives and the media.
UPDATE (23-December-05): San Jose Water Company has withdrawn their logging plan in the face of intense community opposition and more than 100 questions from CDF (California Dept of Forestry). However, SJWC states publicly that they plan to resubmit their logging proposal in the spring of 2006. Our Google Earth pens are sharpened.
To experience this annotated model of the logging plan in Google Earth, open this folder and start by selecting the "Flyover Tour of the Logging Zone". Also check out other annotated elements such as nature photos (see the camera icons), nearby schools and planned helicopter landing sites.
Original version 11-Sep-05; updated 10-Jan-06 by Rebecca Moore; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mountainresource.org
Los Gatos Creek, below Williams Reservoir. Note pristine conditions.
By Rebecca Moore