Lots of blame in forest | TheUnion.com

Lots of blame in forest

Columnist Tom Bonnicksen should at least acknowledge his part in bringing the forest to its present state. The tools of forest exploitation that Bonnicksen advocates have been in use in the Sierra Nevada for 150 years.

Until very recently environmental activism focused on the remnant stands of old growth. Management of most other forest lands was left in the hands of professionals such as Bonnicksen. Recent actions by environmental activists have still managed to affect only small areas, and have not played a significant part in creating the forest conditions that Bonnicksen decries. Unfortunately, on private lands there still remain few restrictions to traditional forest exploitation. Our forests and our fisheries have suffered for it.

The public/private checkerboard land ownership of the Tahoe National Forest is particularly vulnerable to destruction of wildlife habitat. The remnant forest and the wildlife it contains must be preserved. There must be a mutual set of management guidelines on both federal lands and the private inholdings within the forest. We as a society have the right to make choices as to how best use these common lands. We must not seek to convert the Sierra Nevada forest to the row crop model of eastern Texas.

Jerry Bloom

Nevada City

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