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Speak up for the Sierra Nevada's forests

Action: Stop Deforestation

July 18, 2016   Action Alert ID# 400

 

The U.S. Forest Service has published drafts of plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra national forests. These plans, which will determine how the forests are managed over the next 20 years, are abominable.

Instead of protecting our public lands and the wildlife that make their home there, the draft plans expand the Service's power to allow the most destructive forms of logging, including clear-cutting and salvage logging.

Clear-cutting and group selection (a technical term for mini-clearcuts about 3 acres in size) remove all the trees from one area at the same time, leaving only stumps behind. Salvage logging, which removes trees impacted by fire, destroys rich and necessary habitat for wildlife -- research shows that fire-killed trees are ecological gems that need to be protected, not logged. The Service's new plans would also allow expansion of a logging technique called "mechanical thinning." Some thinning can be helpful for reducing fire risk in areas adjacent to human communities, but the plans call for increased mechanical thinning in backcountry areas where it will harm habitat for rare wildlife.

Forest plans are supposed to contain what are referred to as "standards and guidelines." But these new draft plans contain no meaningful standards or guidelines to prevent the Forest Service from harming important wildlife habitat or using destructive logging techniques in the wrong places. The new plans put a number of rare species at risk, including California spotted owls, fishers and black-backed woodpeckers.

You will also be sorely disappointed to hear that although the Service could have recommended the addition of hundreds of thousands of wilderness acres to the national forests, it thus far is seeking zero new acres for the Sequoia or Sierra national forests.

July 18, 2016   Action Alert ID# 400

 

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