Union Democrat staff

Clearcuts threaten water runoff

To the Editor:

"Creeks at a trickle" announced a front page July 3 article, documenting a significant effect we are experiencing from the current drought.

Diminished water flow hurts agriculture, residents, trees and other plants, and wildlife. Of course, it largely results from warming temperatures lessening snowpack overall and especially from recent below-average snowfall. But it is being made even worse by tens of thousands of acres of recent clearcuts.

It is undisputed science - and common sense - that snow melts faster in cleared areas such as clearcuts and, thus, runs off faster. This means a bigger spring runoff, leaving less water to be released over the summer.

We are now witnessing first-hand the consequences of this known scientific fact.

As the multi-billion dollar debate intensifies over how to capture and store our runoff, state agencies mandated to protect natural resources and our well being continue to rubberstamp timber plans proposing even more clear cutting. Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch has commented to state officials for over 10 years about this effect of clearcutting. All have chosen not to listen, putting the wishes and financial gain of a billionaire-owned company over the state's - and our -best interest.

While there are other logging methods that could produce as much timber over time, officials have, without fail, permitted the one that gives the greatest immediate financial return.

Now it is time for everyone to say, "Enough is enough."

Call Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott - (916) 653-5123 - who ultimately approves every timber plan. Call Director of Natural Resources John Laird - (916) 653-5656 - whose department oversees Cal Fire. And call Governor Jerry Brown - (916) 445-2841 - who oversees them all.

The drought is enough. We don't need state officials making it worse and more expensive for all of us.

Addie Jacobson



minds not free

To the Editor:

Beverly (Letter to the Editor, July 15, 2014), they say the truth will set you free but only for those who are open minded enough to see it.

The movie "America" and its message was well presented, laid out, and delivered in a documentary-style format. It took several myths and exposed them to the light of day and then moved on to dispel them.

President Obama's whole world view and views on America are deeply rooted in these same myths. They were very evident in his early campaigns, early presidency, and his speeches during his first foreign trip as president. These views have continued to be evident with his class warfare and policies and actions that continue to diminish America's standing, position, leadership and respect in the world.

Have there been wrongs done in our past? Yes, but America's greatness far outweighs the wrongs in our past.

All throughout history and all parts of the world different groups were wronged by others. The exposed myths make it appear that America had a corner on a market on these actions. The movie showed it otherwise.

This movie should be required viewing with an open mind especially in our school systems and colleges where less and less is being taught about our origins and how we got to where we are and our great accomplishments. There is a lot to be learned!

One of the more shocking aspects of the criticism of the move was the attack on the freedom of speech and the spirit of the First Amendment.

Liberals tend to try to shut down alternative views because they are a threat to their own. Ironically the biggest promoters of an open mind are the most close minded.

James Brown