Calaveras Enterprise

Ag commissioner criticized for timber harvest

A Mountain Ranch man says the county’s agricultural commissioner has taken no action to complete a nine-year-old timber harvest plan on property he owns while demanding compliance with county laws by other residents.

Mike Falvey, who lives on Ponderosa Way near Mountain Ranch, says Agricultural Commissioner Jearl Howard has failed to complete the conditions of a 1993 timber harvest on 20 acres of property Howard owns in the Whiskey Slide Road-Ponderosa Way area.

At the same time, Howard, in his capacities of director of Animal Control and air pollution control officer, takes actions against citizens for non-compliance of local ordinances, says Falvey.

In a March 13 letter to his neighbors regarding a new timber harvest application by Howard, Falvey wrote, “In 1994-95, Jerry Howard logged a 20-acre piece of his land. He got the proper Timber Harvest Plan (THP), followed the rules before he logged, got the proceeds from his job, and then, from that time on up until now, has basically ignored what was required by him to do on his THP.

“He basically has been ignoring his THP, waiting for everything to just ‘go away’ so he doesn’t have to anything about his mess.

“He has gotten at least two extensions from the state. They have stated his ‘work schedule’ when he applied for them, he got them, and again did not deliver on his promises to perform scheduled recovery work.”

In a letter sent to the Enterprise on May 5, Falvey said, “You are dealing with a department head who does whatever he wants, but expects county residents to follow his every command.”

Contacted last week, Howard said, “I do not debate my personal business in the newspaper.”

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