Let’s stick to the science | TheUnion.com

Let’s stick to the science

It was apparent to me and many of the folks I’ve talked to who participated in the recent “Conversation About the Forest” that the old-school paradigm of log, log, log because it’s good for us dominated the discussion.

Log because if we don’t then your house will burn down. Log because that’s what spotted owls like anyways. Log because if we don’t log here in California, then you will have to shoulder the burden of guilt when other forest dependent species go extinct in Asia and Africa. Log because it is our duty as world citizens to use our forests to produce the wood products that we seem to have an incessant desire for, but waste haphazardly. Log because we really need to burn, but it’s too expensive, and no one likes to breathe smoky air anyways.

I propose that we have another public conversation about the forest. However, let’s have some real discussion about visionary alternatives to just logging. Let’s talk about creating a large forest reserve where natural processes like fire can burn without our intervention and create those “patchy” conditions and early successional stages that most of the speakers at the “conversation” reiterated in a somewhat tiresome manner. Let’s include representatives from conservation groups. Let’s have some real time for questions and community dialogue. At the next conversation, I hope to hear real science from both experts and new professionals with fresh ideas. I don’t want to hear the speakers express their opinions about forest policy. I want to hear the science and decide about the policy for myself.

Christy Sherr

Nevada City

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