Timber war returns - Page 3

Environmentalists revive campaign to stop the clearcutting of forests in California

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GUARDIAN PHOTO BY LISA CARMACK

Logging companies are required to file a Timber Harvesting Plan that describes the biodiversity of plant life, acreage, and wildlife of an area meant for harvesting. Cal Fire then approves or rejects the plan within 10 days of receipt. This approval process shields SPI from directly facing charges in court because Cal Fire is ultimately responsible for approving the plan.

Sierra Club and the Battle Creek Alliance are now fighting for legislation that will bar the use of clearcutting altogether.

"[SPI] could minimize clearcutting. The method is not appropriate to today's forests," said Beck. "We are demanding that they make the change to completely stop clearcutting."

A new report by the State Water Resources Control Board regarding SPI is scheduled to be presented at a Board of Forestry hearing on Nov. 9, describing whether or not sediment from the clearcuts is reaching the creeks and harming the valuable salmon recovery project. The report is available on the Board of Forestry website.

"[There has been] a lot of evidence that the logging roads have to do with the sedimentation," said Richard Stapler, deputy secretary of communications at the Natural Resources Agency. "It was brought to our attention by Marily Woodhouse, and is very much worth review."

The review may bring about protections for the Battle Creek watershed, but activists remain focused on legislation to prohibit clearcutting on a broad scale. "Right now the only things valued are the short term profit for the timber industry," said Beck. "There needs to be a change in the way the forests are managed"

Comments

Why can't they get over themselves? Theer are tree species that require what amounts to clear cutting in the forest for their young to sprout and grow, only they were doing it the natural way- Fire. Now many replaces fire with a chainsaw and these clowns, not a single one living in a cave, wants them to stop cutting down trees. They are calling for an end to clear cutting, but that is only a step in the direction they truly desire, an end to logging, period.
I have news for them, the areas being cut today were clearcut over 100 years ago, yet you seem to think the forests are just fine as they are. That would be a contradiction to what you are saying. Just because you won't live long enough to see the mature replacement forest on SPI land doesn't mean it doesn't occur. It takes decades to develop a true self-sustaining forest with planned harvests and rotational schedules, but you don't want to allow the first step.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

The clearcutting part isn't really the bad part; there are seeds in the ground waiting to replace the cut trees. The destructive part is the use of herbicides and then tree farming. The natural diversity of forests allows soil to replenish nutrients that a plant species uses to grow. One tree takes nitrogen but replenishes phosphorous, and another tree does the inverse. When monoculture crops are planted in rich topsoil, the potential of that soil to sustain plant life is greatly depleted, and can take decades to repair. Crop rotation does this to an extent, but the best and most ecological way of sustaining healthy topsoil is to leave it be and allow plant life to grow naturally.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

It's not a finite resource like oil or coal

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

Reasonable people can disagree about clearcutting and unbiased reporters can write news stories about the subject, but was it necessary for this reporter to refer to Mr. Emerson as "infamous"?

I'm sure the thousands of Californians who are currently either directly or indirectly employed because Sierra Pacific Industries is in business would not characterize him as infamous. What is infamous is the fact 80% of forest products used by Californians now come from other states and countries. This is not because there are fewer trees to harvest in this state. It's due in no small part to the fact that instead of developing a rational forestry regulatory system, our state pays more attention to people dressed in skunk and beaver costumes.

This reporter had no problem referring to Mr. Emerson as infamous. I don't understand why the reporter neglected to characterize the costume wearers as childish, sophomoric and ridiculous.

Posted by Bob on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:52 am

I read the entire story and could find almost no mention of the SPI position, or even what Mr Emerson has to say about it. Could the reporter find only squirrels and beavers to interview? I went through three pages and found the position of only one side of the story. Is this news reporting? Or is this propaganda?

You missed a great chance for your readers to find out the other side of the story and to trust them to make up their own minds about the issue. Thanks, but we don't need anyone to tell us how to think. Give us the facts, and we promise to think like adults.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:19 am