Union Democrat staff

Rim Fire mismanagement

To the Editor:

Susan Skalski, Forest Supervisor, should be proud of the team she put together leading the huge recovery effort for the Rim Fire. The Forest Service will adhere to existing laws and policies, use best available science and professional practices in moving forward. The Forest Service conceives their actions are moving expeditiously in removing dead timber.

The Forest Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the government's proposed 30,000-acre Rim Fire recovery. The final EIS is expected in August 2014. When the final EIS is signed by the Forest Supervisor, the Forest Service can start the proposed project. Of course legal litigation against the document could stop the recovery for years.

Within a few months, private timber owners will complete the harvesting of over 18,000 acres from their dead timberlands. Private owners are already replanting trees. By next year most private acres will be replanted. Private timber owners will thin and use herbicides to control brush, creating a healthy productive forest complementing wildlife and aquatic life.

Why can private timber owners accomplish this enormous job and the Forest Service can't? The Forest Service boasts their efforts will continue to use the same failed policies.

How can anyone view the Rim Fire devastation and not recognize the mismanagement by the Forest Service?

Forest Service policies have to change or the rest of the Stanislaus National Forest will be destroyed.

Steven Crook


Confused by environmentalists

To the Editor:

I am really confused about the beliefs of environmentalists. If it is too hot...or extremely cold...it's because of global warming. No matter what anyone does, it creates global warming. That is what environmentalists say. They don't want green trees cut because of water quality, wildlife and of course...global warming. Environmentalists do not want burnt or bug killed timber cut down either because of water quality, wildlife, etc. Most Forest Service officials, environmentalists and ecologists do not want dead trees harvested from the Rim Fire area for one reason or another. These are the same people crying about global warming. Dead trees release CO2 (carbon dioxide), a greenhouse gas. Half of the weight of dry wood is carbon. So it is safe to say that for every log truckload of logs, rough 10 tons of it is carbon. That is 10 tons of C02 that will not be released into the environment because it is being sequestered in the form of lumber. In the harvested areas of the Rim Fire, seedlings will be planted, mostly on private land. These seedlings will start the process of photosynthesis through the action of green chlorophyll and sunlight, water and minerals from the soil are combined with carbon dioxide in the air, which produce wood. And guess what else...oxygen! What a concept. I guess the environmental movement has not grasped that concept. When you really think about it...it's not about global warming or saving wildlife or water quality… it is about control. Control of the land, resources, money and you and I. In 2012, wildfires burned 9.3 million acres of public land. Only 200,00 acres were harvested in salvage logging operations. Since 2006, there have been 242,000 jobs lost in the logging, lumber and cabinetry industries.

Greg Burns


Tom McClintock is an American patriot

To the Editor:

Congressman Tom McClintock is a modern day American patriot in the same sense as Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and all the American revolutionaries who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in defense of liberty. History will prove that I am right in making this assessment of our much maligned congressman from California's 4th District. The frequent attacks against McClintock are well organized talking points from the liberal left who fear and hate the outspoken congressman and his passionate supporters such as me. Why do they hate or fear us? My guess is because they don't know us or understand what we really represent. We are labeled Tea Partiers or in the vulgar vernacular as "Tea Baggers." In reality we are normal Americans with normal lives struggling like most to pay our bills and be good citizens. What is there to hate or fear in honest folks who want government to leave them alone and allow them the freedoms for which so many have given their all in the defense of liberty. Congressman McClintock did not choose to be a tea party supporter, we chose him because he best represents what we believe. Congressman McClintock is an honorable and dedicated public servant who is well versed on American History and the values upon which the United States was founded. Any attempt to paint him any other way so as to dishonor his character is not factual but politically motivated. As Americans we are able to publicly disagree with our elected officials without fear of government retribution. However, when we do disagree, we need to do it in a manner that does not reflect upon our own ignorance and intolerance for honest differences of opinion.

David Titchenal


Inflation, deflation curse economies

To the Editor:

The U.S. is entering the next phase in pivoting to Asia. Iran is no longer the oppressed state in major media. Russia has taken their place. This will keep the weapons industry busy. Russia has one advantage most people overlook, very little national debt. You might think of another advantage, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expensive and in its early stages so Europe cannot afford non-Russian gas. European NATO allies get brave in the spring when their climate is warming. Wait until next winter when there is a reality check. Don't believe every country can grow their way out of huge federal debt. Inflation and deflation are curses to any economy. Weapon sales are badly needed by U.S., Russia, France, England and Israel; and lately Germany wants into the ball game. Japan is one country that needs to accelerate their military defenses, North Korea and China want payback for World War II atrocities.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp