Union Democrat staff

Fire devastation was preventable

To the Editor:

On Friday, March 14, I had the opportunity to tour the Rim Fire burn. The devastation was awful. The enormity is beyond description. There are thousands of acres of black tree skeletons. Deer, bear and cattle carcasses are scattered about. These poor animals didn't have a chance and were burned alive. The soil was glazed and sterilized by the intense heat. There are no frogs, toads or owls. I saw no woodpeckers. Tons of the "greenhouse gas" CO2 was expelled into the atmosphere. It will take generations of excellent forest management to bring trees and wildlife back.

This apocalypse could have been prevented. We allowed decades of fuel to build up. One minor ignition and conflagration took place. The U.S. Forest Service did not allow significant thinning, logging or prescribed burning to decrease fuel. Brush and snags were left in place to placate Mr. Buckley and his obstructionist buddies. Any attempt at reasonable forest management precipitated the threat of litigation and this hand tied the USFS.

We must change our stewardship of the forest. Logging is not a four-letter word. Saw logs lead to 2x4s, door frames and siding which sequester CO2. The cattle keep the brush down and feed us. A healthy forest leads to improved watershed and the water we desperately need.

I have a dream of a green, vibrant forest where wildlife is healthy, water is stored, cattle are fed and fire is prevented. Good paying jobs in the forest will revitalize our community and increase enrollment of our schools. My dream is achievable. Our Sheriff and Board of Supervisors need to advocate forest health and take control if necessary to ensure that a disaster of this magnitude is never repeated.

James D. Mosson, M.D.


Students, parents deserve apology

To the Editor:

I thought your headline from March 18 "Sonora El pot kids to remain in school" was worded in poor taste. You owe the kids and their parents an apology. This was shocking and saddening to many other parents, staff and students. However, I will not suspend my subscription - I need something to put at the bottom of the bird cage.

Andrew McCluskey


County leaders need to follow law

To the Editor:

In the March 19 issue of The Union Democrat Supervisor Karl Rodefer criticizes CSERC for its suit in the Blue Mountain Minerals issue and asserts that such litigation "is not what America is all about." The actions of CSERC are exactly what America is about and definitely what it needs when elected officials ignore the law.

The California Environmental Quality Act ensures that no longer can there be commercial development regardless of any environmental damage. The days of laissez faire are over - the health of our county takes a precedence of those wanting to make an extra buck.

Is it too much to ask of our elected officials that they obey the law even if they disapprove of it? And it would certainly benefit our county if our supervisors engaged in civil discourse rather than uttering nonsense.

Ruth Godbout