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Adding fuel to the forest

Scott Denham

California Attorney General Lockyer sides with Sierra Club on issues of rural cleansing. A lawsuit has been filed to force the U.S. Forest Service to let our Sierra burn with virtually zero thinning.

Sierra club leadership and Lockyer are attempting to force a return to the 2001 Sierra Framework, a forest plan that dooms the Sierra and imperils our communities with a future of larger more intense wildfires. I find Sierra Club members horribly misinformed on this issue. Here’s why: For over 90 years California forests were managed as tree farms, as such, fires were suppressed and trees were encouraged to grow tall straight and dense.

Currently six million acres of second and third growth stand ready for harvest, a harvest that will never come. Contrary to Sierra Club propaganda, our forest could have supplied all of California wood products in a sustainable fashion to this day if the logging industry had not been destroyed.

Now California imports 80 percent of its wood products from less “environmentally aware” areas. The original 2001 framework allowed 1.8 million board feet of timber to be removed for firebreaks per year, this represents about 10 percent of the 1980 “sustainable harvest” of 20 million board feet.

Unfortunately our Sierra forests continue to grow in excess of 2.2 billion board feet of wood each and every year, the 1.8 million board feet of wood allowed represents less than one percent of what grows every year. Logic dictates when over 99 percent of what grows every year is being piled on top of six million acres already at high risk of wildfire. Unstoppable ecosystem vaporizing, wildlife killing, community destroying wildfires will become more common.

Going off the deep end hardly covers the PC mind set that supports the systematic destruction of our forests, critters and rural communities if the Sierra Club forces this issue (rural cleansing).

The Forest Service estimates $4 billion will be required to thin brush and small trees to save our Sierras (SOS). Money we just don’t have.

With a $100 million annual budget maybe the Sierra Club would like to kick down some cash for this disaster they have promulgated on us rural California residents. Carl Pope, we are waiting for your check.

I think the forest chief summed up the future of California forests pretty well. In his statement after signing the original Framework into law. In his best woods lawyer speak, he said, “California will be seeing smaller less intense wildfires ” in 25 or 30 years.” In the Clinton to English dictionary, that means the next 30 years here in the Sierras we will be plagued with larger more intense wildfires until the fuel wood is depleted. Nice.

Scott Denham is a Truckee resident.


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