Photo by Marily Woodhouse
Clear cutting a forest is horrifying. It is death multiplied many times over and spreads out and over the landscape into every aspect of the atmosphere and environment. To stand by it and see it is to feel death. It empties you and then fills you with rage that man could do this to nature. Such an arrogant abuse is incomprehensible to the normal person. Yet the State of California is allowing it to happen. It is absurd and maddening but it is allowing it in watersheds that are being restored with your tax dollars.
When done by an industrial timber company the death keeps coming. The fish, birds, butterflies and every animal are driven out of a habitat that is already diminishing steadily. Erosion causes sediment to fill and heat creeks and choke off life. Then the company plants a plantation of single species pine for industrial harvest which chokes off the vitality of the forest. I’ve seen it too many times and it is a nightmare. Many of us have fought these horrifying abuses and thought we have won against clear cutting.
Sierra Pacific, the largest private landowner in California, is doing it now to much of the most vital forested habitat in California. Not only is it a heinous practice, but made much worse in this case because of an expensive effort by the State of California to restore salmon habitat that was destroyed by dams and irrigation.
A serious breakdown in California policy and management allows this ridiculous atrocity. California and the federal government are removing dams in the Battle Creek watershed to restore the salmon fishery while the state’s department of forestry and fire protection (CalFire) is permitting industrial clear cutting in the watershed. Sierra Pacific has filed 16 plans to clear cut 20,000 acres in the watershed. This is like taking an aspirin to cure a headache with one hand and cutting off your head with the other because you can get a couple of dollars for it at the pawn shop. It is profligate. It is duplicitous. It is self defeating. It is stupid.
It must be stopped. Please look at these pages and tell the Governor you want this unconscionable practice stopped. PelicanNetwork
Photo by Randall Benton and Map by Sacramento Bee
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