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Sequoia Decides to Fully Protect Resources

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Sequoia Decides to Fully Protect Resources

Postby ERIC » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:53 pm

Sequoia National Forest Decides to Fully Protect Resources

Conservation groups support today's decision

By: Center for Biological Diversity
Published: Dec 22, 2005 at 08:56


Conservation groups today applauded the Sequoia National Forest and District Ranger Priscilla Summers for her withdrawal of a decision that would authorize livestock grazing on nearly 37,000 acres within the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The Tule River-West grazing decision was appealed in November by Sequoia ForestKeeper, the Center for Biological Diversity, Sequoia Forest Alliance, the Tule River Conservancy, the Kerncrest Audubon Society, the Sequoia Task Force of the Sierra Club, California Trout, RangeWatch, Western Watersheds Project, and Forest Guardians.

"We are grateful that the Forest recognized its responsibility to protect the extraordinary resources named in the Monument's Proclamation and withdrew this project. The reauthorization of livestock grazing in this area would have harmed the giant sequoias, the archeological and cultural sites, and the plants and animals that the special designation is supposed to preserve," said Ara Marderosian, the executive director of Sequoia ForestKeeper.

"We were concerned that the Forest was reissuing grazing permits without considering impacts to rare plants and animals, including the Pacific fisher, which depends on intact forest habitat, and the Springville clarkia, a threatened plant that is only found in the Tule River drainage," said Greta Anderson, botanist and Range Restoration Campaign Coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity. "The choice to withdraw the decision is significant in that it gives the Forest more time to make better plans."

Area residents were concerned that the protective measures used to protect fragile riparian areas were not sufficient, and that the decision did not do enough to monitor and mitigate livestock impacts. Of particular concern was the ability of alder trees to regenerate in damaged riparian areas, which the Forest's own botanist admitted could be compromised even at low levels of grazing. "I hope the Sequoia National Forest will take stronger actions to restore alders in the riparian areas," said Todd Shuman, a Tehachapi resident and representative of Western Watersheds Project.

Another concern of local people was the failure of the decision to address the increased risks of catastrophic wildfire posed by livestock grazing in the project area. Area resident and representative of RangeWatch Jane Baxter stated "With residents near these grazing allotments very concerned about fire risk to their properties, we were disappointed that the Forest ignored addressing the relationship between grazing and fire cycles. Old thinking that grazing reduces fire risk has been challenged in recent scientific studies looking at 'the big picture.'"

Conservationists are hoping that some of the protective measures included in the now-withdrawn decision will take effect this season, including keeping cattle out of degraded areas and improving monitoring on the allotments. The Forest can implement these measures through annual operating plans, and the natural resources would benefit from early action.

The Giant Sequoia National Monument receives significant recreational use and approximately six million visitors come each year to sight-see, hike, photograph, and study the giant sequoias and the surrounding ecosystem. The conservation of the biological resources of the Monument is therefore also important to regional tourism and local businesses.

Sequoia ForestKeeper is a non-profit conservation corporation whose mission is to protect and restore the ecosystems of the Southern Sierra Nevada. http://www.sequoiaforestkeeper.org

The Center for Biological Diversity is a non-profit conservation advocacy group with more than 15,000 members and a mission to protect endangered species and their habitat. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org

Sequoia Forest Alliance is an association of citizens dedicated to the protection of the natural resources of our forest. sfa@lightspeed.net

Tule River Conservancy is a local, grassroots conservation organization and a California nonprofit organization. http://www.sequoianet.org/

Kerncrest Audubon Society has members who hike, fish, hunt, backpack, camp and sight-see on these lands. http://www.kerncrestaudubon.org

The Sequoia Task Force of the Sierra Club is a national conservation organization whose members include over 750,000 persons nationally. http://www.sierraclub.org/ca/sequoia/

Western Watersheds Project is a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Hailey, Idaho with over 1,400 members. http://www.westernwatersheds.org

Forest Guardians is a non-profit corporation with approximately 1,600 members throughout the United States. http://www.fguardians.org

California Trout is a statewide, non-profit corporation founded in 1971, supported by approximately 5,100 individual members and 50 affiliated angling clubs. http://www.trout.org
RangeWatch has members and supporters have vital interests in protection of natural resources, wildlife, and imperiled species that occur on the public lands in the Sequoia National Forest and on these allotments in particular. http://www.rangewatch.org



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Re: Sequoia Decides to Fully Protect Resources

Postby SteveB » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:00 pm

admin wrote:Conservation groups today applauded the Sequoia National Forest and District Ranger Priscilla Summers for her withdrawal of a decision that would authorize livestock grazing on nearly 37,000 acres within the Giant Sequoia National Monument.


I can't tell you how awesome this is!! I just wish all of the other National Forests, BLM lands, and such would do the same blasted thing! :) Grazing right is in my top three pet peeves of government in general that REALLY makes me angry! :angry: Nothing I hate worse than walking through what's supposed to be wilderness, and seeing cow poop every few feet!

Good on ya, Ms. Summers!
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Postby JM21760 » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:08 pm

Aaaaaaaamen Steve! Tons of cows around Highland Lakes.
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Postby Skibum » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:48 am

You should have seen all the logging that went on this fall around the park boundary! It was like they were frantically cutting as much as they could before the plug was pulled. Forest thinning? I saw a alot of old growth sugar and jeffrey pines come out hmmmmm. :\
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:05 pm

I don't know why they are concerned about the alders reestablishing themselves. If they are in the area they will come around in short order. The creek I live on, has had the alder fill in where needed. Not every year is a success for them to get a start. Once they start from seed, stand back, they grow pretty fast.
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Postby dave54 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:10 pm

If you are going to discuss this issue at least get information from a variety of sources.

http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/RenewableReso ... razing.htm

http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/lube ... tation.pdf

http://www.partnershipforthewest.org/is ... razing.asp

http://www.albrightseed.com/grazing.htm

http://w3.uwyo.edu/~cgfrodeo/grazing.htm

Some of these links are better sources than others, but a diversity of opinions is presented.


There is a research paper released by Cal Poly SLO that I could not find on the web. This paper demonstrated that public grazing in the Sierra helps reduce urban sprawl in the Central Valley. The private land holdings in the foothills are insufficient to maintain a family income without the assistance of public land grazing. If excluded from public land these ranching families would be forced by economics to sell their private land. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth said in a speech "The worst managed ranch is still better wildlife habitat than the best subdivision." In this light public land grazing is a subsidy to keep open land open.

Grazing is also an alternative to herbicides or expensive manual treatment of undesirable vegetation. Proper grazing increases biodiversity and can improve riparian conditions. The improvements built by ranchers (stock ponds, water wells, erosion control structures, etc.) are also utilized by wildlife. The local impact to economies cannot be discounted. In most of the Sierran counties public land grazing is the single largest source of agricultural income.

And of historical interest -- a substantial number of hiking trails in the Sierra were originally built as livestock access to summer forage.
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Postby dave54 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:22 pm

For another viewpoint on the Sequoia Monument...



http://www.humboldt.edu/~norcal/Positio ... quoia.html
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Postby AldeFarte » Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:57 am

Right on Duane and Dave! Ignorance is biss and people can be very STUPID if they don't have the big picture. Pardon me Admin, but not all grazing is bad. The sierra's as we know it today are the result of over 100 years of grazing. Look at what has survived with 100 years of evil. MANY species thrive as a result. Oh my gosh, how can that be? Others will perish from current habitat as a result of "one size fits all" stupid mandates by ignorant political hacks! Much of the meadow country is and will continue to disappear as the forest does what it does. It marches towards uniformity and sameness =old growth= less diversity and species. What is better?Grass and meadows ,or a new subdivision? I happen to have seen where and when livestock was allowed in redwood habitat. They had ZERO impact on redwood groves. Zero. Cattle want to eat. Redwood habitat has not much chow. Cattle impacting redwood groves is fallacious horse pucky. They seldom occupy the same ground at the same time. I have had a late arrival , refreshing ,well needed after dark drink from a trickling brook only to wake up in the AM and be surounded by blank stares from cudd chewing bovines. This in SNP! This country has changed in 20 years after the leases expired ,or however they evicted the cattle. It is an inexorable march to old growth and catastrophic fire. I repeat. Not all grazing is bad and I have nothing but scorn for politically appointed HACKS making important "one size fits all" mandates.jls :D
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Postby JM21760 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:01 am

Perhaps we could have a hunting season on Cattle, with a small limit, as a trade for grazing rights. We could drag em' out with small loaders. Get a lot more steaks than out of a deer. And, a hell of a lot easier for drunk hunters. (Observed every year in certain camping locations). The sucess rate would skyrocket! Uncle Sam let's em graze for free, Cattle owners kick the artificial insemination business into high gear, more cows are standing around craping, eroding stream banks, standing slack jawed and getting pelted with multiple 30-06 rounds from Billy Earl Cooter and his buddy, Jack Daniels. 7 hungover hunters drag out a 1000 lb. cow, pay the butcher to carve up the beef they could buy at a store for a less money, spend 2 months fixing their truck from hauling the weight out, and the economy is rejuvinated for all to enjoy! How did Nature ever survive without Cows for thousands of years? You can be sure it was really screwed up back then. It's a wonder there was anything left before the invention of money. Cash and Profit, the new conservation ideal in our eternally suffering public lands. It would be a disgrace for a meadow to naturally progress to forest, as God and Nature intended. It' s all about money. OK, I'm done, hang me up by my Achillies tendons with a fat stick and gut me for all to see. :paranoid:
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:28 pm

That is good news to me. Grazing ought to be allowed in many traditional mid elevation areas of the Sierra. However the traditional access to large meadows near timberline needs to be crimped. I've written letters in the past complaining of cows in Mokelumne Wilderness especially in the Ebbetts Pass areas. A lot of the damage cattle do are out of sight thus out of mind away from trails along streams so most hikers and backpackers don't see much. Those environments evolved without such heavy large hooved animals. Each step of cows in soft or wet terrain leaves monstrous hoof prints that undo decades of natural process.

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Postby ERIC » Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:11 pm

AldeFarte wrote:Pardon me Admin, but not all grazing is bad.


:-k Did I say it was? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your comment to me?
AldeFarte...I try to stay as neutral as possible on these forums so people won’t be as likely to label this place left or right, or one way or another. I post all articles I come across regardless of the viewpoints they convey. Cutting and pasting an article does not make that article my opinion. My only goal in posting these articles is to inform and stimulate discussion.
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Postby dave54 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:14 pm

hikerduane wrote:I don't know why they are concerned about the alders reestablishing themselves. If they are in the area they will come around in short order. The creek I live on, has had the alder fill in where needed. Not every year is a success for them to get a start. Once they start from seed, stand back, they grow pretty fast.


Alders are fascinating. As nitrogen fixers they are sometimes used in reforesting very poor soils. An alder plantation will rebuild the soil as they grow to commercial size in 10-15 years. Then harvest the alder as fiber and replant the now fertile soil with conifers. The accelerated conifer growth will more than compensate for the 15 year delay in immediate reforestation.
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