MEMO and REQUEST FOR RESPONSE
Request of New Information for 7 S&M/PB Fungi
Following is my response to your questions. This replaces and updates my letter on the same subject dated 11/5/99.
1) Has there been new information since October 1998 that would change the potential risk to the species (that was addressed in Question #4 in the questionnaire completed by the taxa team).
There is no new field information that I am aware of since October 1998 that would change the potential risk for the 7 fungi species as reviewed in question 4 in the Analysis of Species for Proposed Change in Survey Schedule in April 1998.
2) Given that the actual timber sale offering in FY 1999 was only one-third of what was expected (245 million board feet was the actual, 740 million was the expected), if we were to complete the expected level of FY 1999 activities without surveys prior to ground-disturbing activities (over approximately the next year), would there be a change in the potential risk to the species over what was anticipated in the original analysis?
No increase in risk, and some decrease. The assessment of risk in the EA was based on the fact that a finite amount of timber harvest activity was projected (740 mmbf), as well as on the fact that the extension was for a finite period of time (fiscal year 1999). The overriding factor, though, was the amount of activity that might adversely affect the persistence of these species. If this amount of timber activity remains constant, then the risk to these species remains constant. Thus there is no increase in risk unless there were to be an increase in level of activity.
Two species are more common than we thought a year ago. Sarcosoma mexicana is more common (60 new sites). Polyozellus multiplex (5 new sites) is more common. Because of the surveys done over the past 2 years -- spring, fall 1998 plus spring 1999 -- we now know there is less risk to these species than we thought then. In fact, S. mexicana has been found commonly enough in the Oregon Coast Range and Oregon Willamette Valley physiographic provinces that persistence is not a concern and use of even ``single season'' surveys are not needed for this species in these physiographic provinces.
The ``single season'' survey protocols that have been worked out and adopted as part of the proposal to extend the survey deadline for 7 species of fungi will further reduce risk, even if surveys for S. mexicana are not conducted within in the Oregon Coast Range and Oregon Willamette Valley physiographic provinces. It seems likely that some sites will be discovered during these surveys, even though the full 5-year protocols will not be followed.