Forest stewardship record abysmal |

Forest stewardship record abysmal

Re “Other Voices,” Feb. 20, by Robert Ingram:

For years the largest road builder in the country was our very own USFS. Why? Access was needed to large tracts of public forest opened for commercial logging. Privately owned companies secured harvesting rights to these by submitting bids. Often the money paid to us (as in U.S.) was far below the market value of the timber harvested. And we (as in the public) footed the bill for the logging roads.

Why? Removing large swaths of trees by clear-cutting was found to be economical for the logging companies. What often resulted was erosion, landslides, and the silting (and therefore destruction) of salmon and steelhead spawning streams. Who pays for this in terms of natural degradation? We all do.

Mr. Ingram refers to” . . . the environmental industry . . .” and, specifically, to the John Muir Project. Well, it seems to me there are members of another industry that have benefited greatly, and at great public expense, using practices that John Muir never would have condoned.

Forgive me if I see the attempt to apply ” . . . long-term stewardship on private property . . . ” to our public forests as anathema. It is just that the track record is so abysmal.

Tim Stokes

Grass Valley

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