turn into another sterilized clearcut to subsidize the biomass industry at taxpayer expense!
The Stanislaus National Forest has already heavily logged, and clearcut, over 8,000 acres of wildlife-rich “snag forest habitat” on national forest lands in the Rim fire area, west of Yosemite. Today, only 18,000 acres of this habitat remain unlogged on the Stanislaus National Forest, providing the rare and essential habitat needed for imperiled Black-backed Woodpeckers, preferred foraging habitat for threatened California spotted owls, and key habitat for many declining shrub-nesting bird species.
But the Stanislaus National Forest is proposing to clearcut most of the remaining snag forest on national forest lands, spray toxic herbicides on many thousands of acres to eliminate ecologically-important shrub habitat—harming ESA-listed Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frogs, and plant ecologically-sterile tree plantations at enormous taxpayer expense (over $2 million for every 1,000 acres). The Forest Service plans to do this through “biomass” timber sales, allowing this prime wildlife habitat to be clearcut, hauled away, and burned by biofuel companies to produce kilowatts. Science tells us this would harm native biodiversity, severely reduce forest carbon storage, and would spew enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, worsening climate change. When left in the forest, snags (standing dead trees) provide food and homes for wildlife, then replenish soils as they fall and decay, contributing to carbon storage in the new, growing forest.
What’s more, the planned logging would kill most (over 70%) of the tree seedlings that are naturally regenerating abundantly in the Rim fire currently, further undermining carbon sequestration potential. The Forest Service is relying on faulty field data to promote their clearcutting, herbicide-spraying, and tree planting project, and to justify their request of $83 million of taxpayer money to fund this devastation. Independent scientists have found pine and fir seedlings vigorously growing throughout the fire area, including where the Forest Service claims none exist!
Take Action: Please email or call Jeanne Higgins, the Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor ([email protected], phone: 209-532-3671, ext. 232), and urge her to stop logging the remaining snag forest habitat in the Rim fire, and let the ecosystem rejuvenation which is naturally taking place after the Rim Fire continue, untrammeled by greedy biomass interests.
Please also write letters to the editor to the Sonora Union Democrat ([email protected]) and Fresno Bee (http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/) newspapers opposing the Forest Service’s Rim Fire Reforestation and Biomass Logging Plans (please include your full name and contact information).
Thanks for taking the time to be a wildlife and forest ecosystem protector!