Last fall Governor Brown issued a State of Emergency Proclamation, calling natural and beneficial tree mortality, which has resulted from several years of drought, a crisis and vowing to subsidize a massive commercial program to remove dead trees without limit, ostensibly to protect our forests and communities from fire. Governor Brown’s statements represent a colossal and dangerous misunderstanding of California’s forests and the habitat components and natural processes necessary to support our native wildlife. Dead trees do not increase fire risk or intensity, are in a grave deficit in the forests of California, and create habitat essential to most of our native wildlife species. Governor Brown simply couldn’t be more wrong – he is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and is harming our forest ecosystems in the process. His actions are of great concern, so much so that scientists who study forest ecology wrote him a letter [ScientistLetter2GovBrownRE2015Snags4Feb16] to help him understand the error of his ways.
Check out the letter and contact Governor Brown to let him know, while he may mean well, he has it all wrong!
Thanks for helping to protect our forest ecosystems,
Rachel Fazio Associate Director John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute