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Businesses join fight against clearcuts

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Businesses join fight against clearcuts

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:37 pm

Businesses join fight against clearcuts

Published: February 14, 2008
By JAMES DAMSCHRODER
The Union Democrat
Article Link


Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch has gotten 125 Calaveras County businesses to sign a request directed at California's largest private landowner, Sierra Pacific Industries, to stop the clear-cutting of the area's forest.

Four local businesses will be honored for their efforts in the "Save the Sierra" business sign-on campaign at a Valentine's Day reception in Murphys today.

Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch has been identifying local businesses that want to stop area clear-cuts and push for selective timber harvesting to join the effort led by the nonprofit Forest Ethics, said Josh Bridges, the group's outreach coordinator.

More than 100 businesses in Calaveras County have signed on.

"We're doing our part," Bridges said of Calaveras County businesses. "We see the logs getting taken out everyday, but people around the state need to stand up also."

SPI is the largest private landowner in California, owning more than 1.7 million acres in the Sierra Nevada, according to EPFW. SPI is also the largest private landowner in Calaveras County, owning approximately 74,000 acres of the county's forest.

This amounts to about 48 percent of the forested property above 3,500 feet in Calaveras County, according to EPFW.

"It's a request that SPI do the right thing," Bridges said. "It's a pledge directed at Red Emmerson (owner of SPI) that we don't have to clear-cut. Up here, it's doing more harm than good."

Documents filed with the California Department of Forestry show that SPI intends to clear-cut two-thirds of their property over a span of 80 years, according to EPFW.

"The Sierra are a shared resource — how much is being compromised?" asked Bridges.

The four businesses that will be honored at today's reception are Bridges Construction, Sustenance Books, Sierra Nevada Adventure Co.and Two Rivers Trading Co.

"It's important because I live here," Susan Shoaff, owner of Sustenance Books in Murphys, said of the surrounding forest. "I'm watching it get completely taken apart."

"I see more clear-cuts every winter," she added.

Businesses interested in joining the campaign can contact EPFW at 795-8260.

Contact James Dam-schroder at jdamschroder @uniondemocrat.com or 736-8097.
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Re: Businesses join fight against clearcuts

Postby dave54 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:22 pm

If the businesses named would bother to learn something about forest ecology and silviculture they would not support individual tree selection harvesting (ITS) in the Sierra mixed conifer forest type. It is not a good harvest method in this forest type and results in forest degradation over time. The current forest health problem in the Sierra is partially the result of too much ITS in the past.

Clearcutting as a harvest method was first developed in 17th century Germany as a way of fixing the problems created by centuries of ITS in their forests. Properly done, it improves forest health and increases biodiversity. Which is one of the reasons the Wildlife Society endorses clearcutting in certain situations, as does almost every science based and knowledgable conservation group. Patrick Moore, cofounder of Greenpeace, endorses clearcutting in certain forest types. The Nature Conservancy clearcuts on their lands where appropriate.

The only ones that oppose clearcutting are either ignorant of the basics of ecology, or have a secret agenda.
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