Green, Inc.

Fear motivates.

Fear was the reason I got into forestry. When I was in college (I grew up in the 1960s and graduated high school in 1969), Martin Litton’s iconinc picture of a boy looking out over a large clearcut of redwoods caused a number of us to take action.

The Photos Were a Snapshot in Time.

For most, their complete environmental education was that photo.

While Martin LItton hasn’t changed his views, I have. My forestry major allayed my fear of deforestation through timber cutting for lumber. Coast redwood (where Litton photographed) sprouts from the stump. The place the boy looked at should be covered with redwood 40-60 feet tall. Photos tell a story of a moment in time, not of all time.

Now concern revolves around deforestation and old growth. In April of 2000, President Clinton used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the 327,769-acre Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM). That nearly, 330,000 acres presumably protects less than 20,000 acres of sierra redwood (giant sequoia).

Removing 500 Square Miles of Second-Growth Forest From Further Harvests Hurts Untouched Rainforest.

According to The Illusion of Preservation (Harvard Press), for every twenty acres of previously harvested forest placed off-limits to logging, one acre of primary forest–virgin forest–somewhere else is logged. That totals:

Primary Forest Lost Due to the GSNM set aside – 16,400 ac

We get no free lunches, someone pays and the someone in this case, is the wildlife and unique flora in previously untouched wilderness. Once roads are placed in this 16,400 acres of primary forest, it is usually converted to agriculture; the wildlife is open to extirpation.

Green, Inc. Slogans Masquerading as Scientific Fact

Tom Knudson wrote in his 2001 series, Environment, Inc.:

[T]oday [environmental] groups prosper while the land does not. Competition for money and members is keen. Litigation is a blood sport. Crisis, real or not, is a commodity. And slogans and sound bites masquerade as scientific fact.

What are you going to believe, slogans or your lying eyes?

As the management of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest proves, harvesting is not the end of the world. Yet, Green, Inc. is interested in zero timber cut from public lands, so they support moving the GSNM from the Forest Service to the Park Service, this is not only unnecessary, it is counter-productive to GSNM’s articulated goals.

Sequoia needs disturbance to regenerate. Such disturbance has historically come from fire. But the past 100 years of aggressive fire suppression, shade-tolerant white fir has seeded under the old-growth giant sequoia groves. And now fire is a problematic tool due to Clean Air Laws. Logging provides the needed bare mineral soil sequoia seedlings require. And logging can be done around giant sequoia without adverse affects. Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (MHDSF) manages its land consistent with the recommendations in the GSNM’s management plan. One irony of the GSNM: most visitors don’t see any giant sequoia until they reach the State Forest’s boundary. MHDSF has incorporated logging its management since 1946.

Not allowing harvesting in GSNM will eventually require a name change to the White Fir National Monument.

If you’d like to use my petition to keep the GSNM in the Forest Service’s jurisdiction and not tie land managers’ hands, it’s here.

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Green Giant Politics

Sequoiadendron giganteum occurs naturally in scattered groves only in the western Sierra

Sequoiadendron giganteum occurs naturally in scattered groves only in the western Sierra. The 327,769-acre GSNP is at the southern boundary of its distribution. (Nat'l Park Service image)

My wife and I are members of the Sierra Club. She, because she supported their agenda. Me, because I want to know what the arguments are going to be about. The other day, we found a mailer from the Sierra Club imploring us to write the President, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority Leader to urge them to use their “power to finally bring real protection to the Giant Sequoia National Monument by transferring management from the United States Forest Service to the National Park Service.”

That’s what I like about the Sierra Club, they are for science except when they’re not. The Forest Service has a plan based upon the appointed science advisers. But, anything involving commercial harvesting scares some people. Harvesting especially scares those who want no timber cut commercially in the United States. Zero-cut is a bad idea for all the reasons I’ve already listed here.

Now, in these United States, petitioning the government for redress of wrongs is one of our rights as American citizens. I just don’t believe that the USDA Forest Service is the wrong place for the Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM). I was the assistant forest manager at Mountain Home State Forest, the GSNM’s neighbor. I bring this up, because MHSF has harvested timber for over 60 years and people looking for the GSNM think they’ve found it when they reached the border of the State Forest. So harvesting and old growth sequoia can exist together and even thrive. The two are not antithetical and may be more sympathetic than the Sierra Club and the Zero-Cut supporters and their ilk would have you believe.

Here’s what my petition says:

Dear ___________________________


I urge you to use your influence to keep the Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM) within the USDA Forest Service’s jurisdiction.

Groups interested in zero timber cut from public lands, including the Sierra Club, want your support to move the GSNM from the Forest Service to the Park Service, this is not only unnecessary it is counter-productive to GSNM’s articulated goals.

As you know, the Proclamation speaks of “restoring natural forest resilience” in the Monument. This goal requires tools: adaptive management. To meet this goal, GSNM’s vegetation mix has to be brought to a place where the vegetation has the ability to resist stressors (stability) and to recover from stresses once they occur (resilience), while best maintaining native biodiversity.

You are no doubt also aware that the shade-tolerant white fir has seeded under the old-growth giant sequoia groves during the past 100 years of aggressive fire suppression. Sequoia needs disturbance to regenerate and fire is a problematic tool due to Clean Air Laws. This leaves logging as the efficacious treatment to provide the needed bare mineral soil sequoia seedling require.

Logging around giant sequoia can be done without the adverse affects the Sierra Club claims. Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (MHDSF) manages its land consistent with the recommendations in the GSNM’s management plan. This highlights the irony of the GSNM: most visitors don’t see any giant sequoia until they reach the State Forest’s boundary. MHDSF has incorporated logging its management since 1946.

Not allowing harvesting in GSNM will eventually require a name change to the White Fir National Monument.

________________________________
Signed

I will admit the White Fir Nat’l Monument comment is a little snarky, but it is true.

If you’d like to use my petition, it’s here.

The Sierra Club’s full text and online petition may be found here.

For technical peer-reviewed information:

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