Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Letter to the Editor....about Clear Cutting the Watershed

   Dear Editor,

    Stop Clearcutting the Watershed

    Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) is planning a new timber harvest plan (THP) that will add another 259 acres to the 4648 acres they have already clearcut within the watershed since 2010.

   This new THP called the Swiss Ranch THP is within a Few miles of Arnold, and will add to the patchwork of clear cuts that extend eastward along Hwy 4.

    Since around the year 2000, SPI has been systematically clearcutting their forestlands within the watershed which lies between Hwys 88 and 4 converting them into plantations and tree farms.

   This is important because the practice of clearcutting removes all vegetation which accelerates run off, dries out the landscape, and decreases the range of time that water percolates back into the watershed.

   In these times of drought and fire, we should be protecting existing forest lands, not creating more fire prone plantations and a drier landscape.

   The water that drains from large watersheds such as the ones in this is important for drinking water, for agriculture and for the fish and wildlife that depend on it.

   Over 80% of California's water supply comes from forested watersheds and what SPI does to their lands affects all of us.

   Timber companies clearcut because it is the cheapest way to log, not because they care bout the water resources or wildlife of California - isn't it time we call for an end to this abusive practice?

   ..Kyle Haines of Klamath Falls, Oregon


Anonymous said...

Apparently what you don't know is that CalFire is helping SPI by making everyone clear cut their land to stop the fires that smokers, hunters, and angry ex-USFS employees and other arsonists..... start. And they are making us pay for it!!!

Anonymous said...

I hear that CalFire and USFS employees are so scared of the wildland creatures that they want everything clear cut so that all the wildlife will die.

Anonymous said...

We have THP regulation that even our State and local officials allow to continue. What can we do? There will be no more forests or woodland creatures soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Hey you Oregonians didn't stop the clearcutting up there. I've seen the devastation that was allowed. California is right behind you.

Anonymous said...

The governor wants all the water to be released to give to LA. That's the real reason he and Wilensky have forced this on us. Its the Democrats who are supposedly environment and lie. Yes, you are right, clear cutting will kill all the wildlife and the watershed itself, all to give water to LA.....

Anonymous said...

the problem in California is that it is mostly SPI employees and foresters who live by logging, who run the forest. It's certainly not the people. Even the so-0called environmental groups don't fight it. I think SPI gives them donations to shut them up!

Anonymous said...

Hey ORegon: Here in CA they take $150 a year per house from us and use it against our property rights. And I agree with the one that said the fires are started by arsonists of one type or another. Has that Rim Fire hunter EVER been prosecuted?

Anonymous said...

We haven't had this discussion in awhile. Because of all the arsons, they are using the fires as excuse to clear cut. I used to respect CAL FIRE. No more!! People are afraid to say how they feel because they are afraid they won't fight the fires in their area if they get criticized.

Anonymous said...

It turns out that science and actual fire studies show that the clearcutting and the use of toxic herbicides in forest watersheds is overall bad for fire, water supply, snow-melt timing and quantity, biodiversity of plans and wildlife and tourism.

After SPI clearcuts they plant industrial tree plantations which can certainly have a negative impact on fire behavior and this puts our communities at more risk. Tree plantations (and SPI and CAL FIRE know this) burn exceptionally fast and hot due to the thin bark and small diameter(younger trees) and because the plantations are even-aged crown fires spread fast. The recent Rim Fire, and other huge fires have studied the burn characteristics of various forest areas including plantations. And no surprise - plantations were once again the most severe burn.

Additionally, when SPI commercially thins plantations they just leave the cut trees and branches lying on the ground to dry out and become a source of ladder fuels.

SPI is owned by one of the world's richest billionaires and gives lots of money to local and state politicians. This results in lax regulatory oversight. This results in you and me paying taxes to subsidize them. Additionally - when SPI causes forests fires during logging operations we taxpayers pay for the firefighting often because SPI fights the charges hard with high paid lawyers. Typical 1 % behavior and we little guys pay the long term costs. SPI will be trying hard to influence and control the outcome of local elections - demand to know who they are sending to their political "school" and how much money they are giving to whom.

Don't forget what your common sense tells you - tree plantations are not at all like real forests!

Anonymous said...

I have read all the comments to this letter about the dangers of clearcutting. I would like to ask that each of you send your own letter to the editor answering the following questions:
1) How does creating "defensible space" around your house help SPI?
2) What evidence to you have that USFS employees are arsonists and are afraid of wildlife?
3) How do THP regulations hurt forests and wildlife? I thought they were intended to protect them.
4) How will clearcutting provide water to LA?
5) What is the relationship between the fire tax and SPI clearcutting?
Don't forget that we're now focing a water crisis in CA. Water is no longer a "renewable resource." One of the best ways to keep water in the ground (and prevent our wells from going dry) is to maintain a healthy natural environment. That means selectively harvesting forests, not creating barren, dry lands with clearcutting. It means restoring meadows and protecting our watersheds. We're all in this together. Let's look for solutions that will assure a healthy future for all of us, regardless of our income or social status!

Anonymous said...

For one thing, you are apparently ignorant of the fact that this is not just clear-cutting of our personal property. This is clear-cutting in the forests by the CalFire $150 per house in and around all the forest areas. You should read before you comment.

Anonymous said...

There are no real THP requirements. That's a joke. It is all run by SPI employees and foresters. They do whatever they want. They are destroying what is left of our wildlife. And now they've got a law passed to force us homeowners to do what they do. It's sick!!

Anonymous said...

About the USFS employees; read the papers, a big one that killed at least one person was an angry ex-usfs employee. it was in the papers. Others like the Rim Fire are hunters, smokers, get real.