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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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Thanks for keeping the community updated Roo, and thanks for being a friend of the forest. The trails you all have worked so hard on are a treasure, and anyone who has been fortunate enough to ride them should help defend them against the flawed plans that confront them.
 
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