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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With all the fires raging throughout northern California this summer one must ask: How do we prevent this for our future wellbeing and at the same time create forests for other means of income beside large scale timber harvesting practices (THPs)?

The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) is at the forefront for this question. The 48,652 acres of forestry lands represents the largest state owned public forest in California. It is one of 8 demonstration forests solely responsible for providing income to the seven other demonstration forests. But, the egregious harvesting practices recently in areas close to local communities has become our major concern and dedication to stop.

Protesting has taken place in these woods to shut down all timber harvests (THPs) until cooler heads prevail. We are asking for a two year moratorium on any and all THPs. Locally, the Scales area in the community of Caspar and home to a number of single and double track trails has become the flash point in this standoff. Five other harvests have been planned in the next 6 years that will affect up to 80% of all the trail system within the JDSF. I have spent hours calculating the single and double track trails and forest roads necessary to access all trails in the JDSF at 198.85 miles! See attached PDF compilation:

We are proposing upwards of 20,000 acres be protected in the western sector of the JDSF and managed in a more sustainable and healthy way. This includes protecting second growth mature trees from commercial interests. These trees actually represent fewer trees than old growth trees. At only 2%, second growth forests are rarer than "Old Growth" trees which are protected at 3% remaining in California's coastal regions. The second growth trees represent the "Money trees" coveted for decks and fences. No redwood trees can be used for building homes due to their lack of structural integrity. The propaganda that Cal-fire (StateForests_2014.indd (ca.gov) speaks of is the amount of wood harvested in all the demonstration forest represents upward of 3,000 single family homes is grossly misleading. Douglas Fir is the only wood that can be used for this purpose according to local building codes. We want to protect the redwoods specifically in a well managed forest of the future. The Redwood tree carbon sequestration abilities eclipses all other trees in the world.

The following article is an eye opener meant to place fact above misinformation. The co- authors are well received in the scientific Forestry and Climatology communities.

Please read:

Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth - The San Francisco Examiner (sfexaminer.com)

Finally: Last year alone, 2 million people visited the Mendocino area. If 5% are bikers, this allows 100,000 people to recreate in these valuable and unique forest lands as represented partially by this year's Ibis Migration held at the Mendocino Woodlands State Park.

Bicycle Tire Wheel Plant Vehicle


The money spent to do so far outweighs the pittance that these harvested trees bring to our communities. The Caspar Scales THP would bring about $2.3 million to the Cal Fire coffers which largely goes out of our area to Sacramento and to the other demonstration forests. In 2015, Mendocino county received over $361 million in visitation spending! (SEE: 2016-2017-marketing-plan.pdf (mendocinotourism.org). This is increasing each year. Outdoor recreation is a huge part of this expenditure due to housing and food expenses.

Mountain biking is seriously important to our community coffers and our future wellbeing. The trails here are World Class and need our protection form recently designated THPs (6 in the western sector alone). Please join our movement at Mendocino Trail Stewards to change how our largest public forest in California is managed.

Go here: (MendocinoTrailStewards.org)

"Times, they are a changin!" and it needs our attention and public action NOW!

Thank you,
Roo Harris
Little River CA
 

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I don't understand what constitutes "managed in a more sustainable and healthy way". The proposal to not cut Redwoods and such is fine. But what exactly is the plan to reduce the incidence of wildfires? If the goal is to stop and reverse global warming, that has to be decades away. What about in the interim?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't understand what constitutes "managed in a more sustainable and healthy way". The proposal to not cut Redwoods and such is fine. But what exactly is the plan to reduce the incidence of wildfires? If the goal is to stop and reverse global warming, that has to be decades away. What about in the interim?
Good question! The dialogue starts now. The Caldor fire burned the hottest and fastest in recent THPs. Things must change. This is why we are asking for a two year moratorium on all THP's in the Jackson. If you read the article I enclosed it will give you a better sense of where we must begin. Commercial logging is not the answer in protecting our future public forest lands. These forest only represent 3% of timber products while private forests have the lion's share.
Thanks,
 

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Thinning forests on Weyerhaeuser's dime and not planting crowded mono culture forests to begin with would be huge. Most all the forests I see get torched are just that. Mature forest and larger second growth trees fires typically don't reach the crown. Next would be suppression, just let the shat burn for God's sake.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thinning forests on Weyerhaeuser's dime and not planting crowded mono culture forests to begin with would be huge. Most all the forests I see get torched are just that. Mature forest and larger second growth trees fires typically don't reach the crown. Next would be suppression, just let the shat burn for God's sake.

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Control burns work. The slash left behind in the JDSF is frightening. Yellowstone came back in a healthier way, didn't it?
JDSF is not a healthy forest, period! But, if THP practices change there might be hope to make it safer and healthier. A two year Moratorium on any harvests is all we are asking at the moment. The intense ramping up of THPs this year is most disturbing.
 

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Control burns work. The slash left behind in the JDSF is frightening. Yellowstone came back in a healthier way, didn't it?
JDSF is not a healthy forest, period! But, if THP practices change there might be hope to make it safer and healthier. A two year Moratorium on any harvests is all we are asking at the moment. The intense ramping up of THPs this year is most disturbing.
I agree on the controlled burns but you can't control burn those dense forests, it's not possible. Granted I'm speaking generally, I'm not familiar with the JDSF.

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Good question! The dialogue starts now. The Caldor fire burned the hottest and fastest in recent THPs. Things must change. This is why we are asking for a two year moratorium on all THP's in the Jackson. If you read the article I enclosed it will give you a better sense of where we must begin. Commercial logging is not the answer in protecting our future public forest lands. These forest only represent 3% of timber products while private forests have the lion's share.
Thanks,
That's fine, as far as it goes, but I'm only reading what doesn't work. And a moratorium period where nothing is done doesn't seem very proactive. So I'm still wondering what active measures are contemplated. I read the article, but it also just seemed to list what not to do.
 

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I will say upfront I haven't read the links yet, or know who else has replied here, but I can say that Roo has been highly involved with his neighborhood forest he's writing about. 👍😎
 

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Isn't this just a repackaging of this thread that was started 6 months ago, now just with the hot button issue of fire prevention in the title?


The Mendocino Trail Stewards are passionate about the trails they have built and tourism it brings into the area (which is sorely needed). That said, the way this subject keeps being raised and the continued arguments that sound like Sierra Club litigation tactics from the 90s (we just want to hit the pause button, meanwhile the lumber rots and the fire hazard gets worse) appear to be more motivated by the loss of trails than the overall health of the forests.

Statements like this just further make me question the actual motives: "The money spent to do so far outweighs the pittance that these harvested trees bring to our communities. The Caspar Scales THP would bring about $2.3 million to the Cal Fire coffers which largely goes out of our area to Sacramento and to the other demonstration forests." Yes, that is what happens when state agencies receive funds, including the FTB. Money also comes back in from various sources.

Six months ago, the claims were that these sales were performed illegally and that litigation to stop them was imminent. What happened?
 

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Ya need to relax, it’s okay if the forests burn.

Sure, it’d be smarter to use selective logging and controlled burns to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, but it’s a hard one to float when all folks care about is “right now”.

Just imagine how many wildfires we’re gonna have in the next few decades, so exciting!

but yeah, people are stoopid and lack I sight, what a revelation 🙄
 

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I disagree with the original post. The reason for the CATASTROPHIC fires is not global warming/climate change. It is hands-off management of forests and not reducing the fuel load.
This segment of California Insider is worth a watch...
 

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I disagree with the original post. The reason for the CATASTROPHIC fires is not global warming/climate change. It is hands-off management of forests and not reducing the fuel load.
This segment of California Insider is worth a watch..
How dare you peddle your logical arguments on the internet!
 

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I have a lot to say on this topic, but here are a few thoughts:
  1. Boggs Demonstration forest was heavily thinned and brushed and controlled burned for decades. I lived up there, and bought my first home there. (While renting in the bay area). The Valley fire of 2015 burnt completely through Boggs (after burning down my house, whole neighborhood, and several neighborhoods on the way) without stopping in 30-45 minutes and continued on down the hillside toward the populated area of Middletown. The area had 4 years of extreme drought conditions in a row just prior.
  2. One could argue that California has been in one continuous drought (to varying degrees) for the past 20 years. A hydrologic cycle gone haywire is an effect of climate change and greatly exacerbates the intensity, rate of spread and size of naturally occurring wildfires.
  3. Read "Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate"
  4. If you don't have time to read a whole book on the topic, then read this article at the very least: The ecological hate speech developed around wildfire

- TLDR:
But the logging industry and those who stand to benefit from it ... have long been preying on society's pyrophobia, pedaling a host of now popular myths to garner support for additional logging on both public and private lands. For example, "thinning" is often promoted as a means of reducing the fuel load in supposedly "overgrown" forests, thereby decreasing both the likelihood and intensity of wildfire. And yet extensive research has proven otherwise.
"Thinned forests often burn more intensely in wildland fires ... because thinning reduces the windbreak effect of denser forests, allowing winds to sweep through more rapidly, while also reducing the shade of the forest canopy and creating hotter and drier conditions. In fact, the deadliest wildfire in California history, the notorious Camp Fire of 2018, began on several thousand acres that had been heavily logged - thinned in some areas, clear cut in others - following a lightning fire in 2008."
Let's at least start by not making our wildfires worse.
 
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Commercial logging is not the answer in protecting our future public forest lands
If you work with that premise, then you are doomed. Public forest lands are meant to be logged.
AFAIK there is no government logging program waiting to step in.
AFAIK is no artisanal/craft logging company just wishing they could do things the right way if those evil commercial loggers would let them.
Forests either need to be logged (unpopular), managed (also unpopular and no $$$ for it) or let them burn (also unpopular!).

Trees are beautiful. Trees are also a crop, like the brussel sprouts, strawberries, etc we drive past on Highway 1 in San Mateo County.
Crops get harvested. Yes, they should be harvested using best practices.

That said, the way this subject keeps being raised and the continued arguments that sound like Sierra Club litigation tactics from the 90s
Roo I appreciate your dedication and passion on this, but please listen to this feedback.
 

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If you work with that premise, then you are doomed. Public forest lands are meant to be logged.
AFAIK there is no government logging program waiting to step in.
AFAIK is no artisanal/craft logging company just wishing they could do things the right way if those evil commercial loggers would let them.
Forests either need to be logged (unpopular), managed (also unpopular and no $$$ for it) or let them burn (also unpopular!).

Trees are beautiful. Trees are also a crop, like the brussel sprouts, strawberries, etc we drive past on Highway 1 in San Mateo County.
Crops get harvested. Yes, they should be harvested using best practices.

Roo I appreciate your dedication and passion on this, but please listen to this feedback.
Actually, Roo is correct. This idea that logging is bad news for wildfires goes against popular assumptions. See my post above and respond to those points if you have any data to offer to back up your opinion. The sources there include scientific research.
 

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Shaver Lake was managed correctly and the Creek fire stopped at these properly managed forests.
The additional advantage with thinning out the forest is that owls and other birds of prey succeed because now they can see the rodents that they eat on the forest floor.
 

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"The reality is there is no such thing as an 'overgrown' forest," Hanson writes. "If a particular stand is very dense, it is because that location is naturally capable of supporting such biomass."
"naturally capable of supporting such biomass" ignores the fact that absent man's intervention forests WILL periodically (10+ years) burn and clean out that biomass. Man cleaning out the junk is trying to do a controlled version of what would happen if we did not build houses in the woods. Is it a perfect solution? No. Is letting all that fuel build up? Hanson argues that you need to do that for global carbon purposes, which is a drop of water in the ocean.

If you're driving your truck 200 miles to bike in the forest, you sorta have made a carbon tradeoffs clear.
 

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"naturally capable of supporting such biomass" ignores the fact that absent man's intervention forests WILL periodically (10+ years) burn and clean out that biomass. Man cleaning out the junk is trying to do a controlled version of what would happen if we did not build houses in the woods. Is it a perfect solution? No. Is letting all that fuel build up? Hanson argues that you need to do that for global carbon purposes, which is a drop of water in the ocean.

If you're driving your truck 200 miles to bike in the forest, you sorta have made a carbon tradeoffs clear.
His position is that we should allow forests to burn, as the entire ecosystem is fire-adapted. And it is the carbon emissions of forests burning that is a drop in the bucket. The carbon sequestration of live forest is far greater.

Regarding your other point on owls and birds - they find quite the snack stand in burnt snag forests. The other point in the book is that they serve an important ecological function and we should keep them around rather than hauling them off for timber sale in "salvage logging" after a wildfire. Snag forests are rich in biodiversity and important for habitat recovery.

This link provides quite a lot of baseless political opinions, but not any interesting data. It is not a spurious allegation that the primary function of the USFS is logging - it's a fact. That is why it is under the Department of Agriculture, not the Dept. of the Interior. Biden's USDA head, Tom Vilsack is a well-known proponent of logging and the beef industry. Vilsack also led the USDA under Obama. You have to go back pretty far to find a pro-environmentalist USDA head (or President, IMO). It's no wonder that today's USFS land is a mixture of clear cuts, homogenous young forest and heavily grazed land.
 

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His position is that we should allow forests to burn, as the entire ecosystem is fire-adapted. And it is the carbon emissions of forests burning that is a drop in the bucket. The carbon sequestration of live forest is far greater.

Regarding your other point on owls and birds - they find quite the snack stand in burnt snag forests. The other point in the book is that they serve an important ecological function and we should keep them around rather than hauling them off for timber sale in "salvage logging" after a wildfire. Snag forests are rich in biodiversity and important for habitat recovery.

This link provides quite a lot of baseless political opinions, but not any interesting data. It is not a spurious allegation that the primary function of the USFS is logging - it's a fact. That is why it is under the Department of Agriculture, not the Dept. of the Interior. Biden's USDA head, Tom Vilsack is a well-known proponent of logging and the beef industry. Vilsack also led the USDA under Obama. You have to go back pretty far to find a pro-environmentalist USDA head (or President, IMO). It's no wonder that today's USFS land is a mixture of clear cuts, homogenous young forest and heavily grazed land.
Ok, so should we also consider Chad Hanson's background in the same manner you are looking at the USFS? Lawyer, supports Sierra club, needs to sell his book (I am assuming he isn't donating all proceeds, correct me if I'm wrong), needs to garner attention to gain future research funding, etc, etc? he does make some interesting points on the surface but, I am having trouble with some of his concepts. I just wonder if he went to far for marketing purposes.
 
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