Forest management topic of summit

archive_import /

By CLAIRE ST. JOHN

A host of high-powered U.S. Forest Service and Department of Agriculture officials gathered in Sonora Friday to brief the public on President Bush's Healthy Forests initiative and other national forest policies.

Mark Rey, Department of Agriculture undersecretary for natural resources; Regional Forester Jack Blackwell and Dr. Thomas Bonnicksen, professor of forest sciences at Texas A&M University were among speakers at the third annual Natural Resources Summit.

Attended by about 100, the Mother Lode Fairgrounds event which picketing environmentalists blasted as one-sided was organized by Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, and Assemblyman Dave Cogdill, D-Modesto.

Speakers also talked about implementing proposed changes to the Sierra Nevada Framework, a $20 million Clinton-era plan guiding management of 1.5 million acres in 11 national forests in California.

More logging of both old growth timber and younger trees, in the interests of fire protection, is called for in Bush Administration amendments to the Framework.

Many speakers stressed that California's declining timber industry must be preserved to keep forests healthy.

"You cannot have a healthy forest without a healthy industry, period," Bonnicksen said. "Without the industry, we cannot manage our forests."

Phil Aune, California Forestry Association vice president for public resources, estimated that restoring California's national forests through thinning and controlled burning would cost tens of billions of dollars.

Maintenance alone, he added, would cost billions annually.

No one will pay for that, Aune said, and that's why it is necessary to have a strong timber industry that defrays some of the costs by doing some of the work.

"You have to thin the forest to protect the forest," Blackwell agreed. "This notion that if we somehow stay away from active management and Mother Nature will take care of things won't work."

11509117
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday May 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more