The Sequoia suffers from many blockades to sensible forest management and protection. With the only mill within more than 100 miles away, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and being hamstrung by unreasonable diameters limits for harvestable timber, as well as having the Giant Sequoia National Monument to manage, they face a very long uphill battle to update their 24 year old Forest Plan.
Also opposing them is the Sierra Club, who continue to portray the Forest Service as loggers of ancient Giant Sequoias. They wish that all 300,000+ acres of the Giant Sequoia National Monument be free of all logging projects, despite there being only about 10,000 acres of already protected Giant Sequoia groves within the Monument. The McNally Fire nearly killed the world’s second largest tree, when it was allowed to burn for weeks. The Sierra Club is quite happy to let their followers think that the Forest Service will cut the sequoias down, and that clearcuts and the cutting of big trees will happen. The Sierra Club wants the Monument to be “un-managed”, just like the adjacent Sequoia National Park. They also don’t realize that the Park Service doesn’t follow the same rules on prescribed fires that the Forest Service does. You cannot solely use prescribed fires to manage the fuels build-ups of 80 years, on hundreds of thousands of acres. Besides, the California Board of Air Resources don’t have enough burn days, when prescribed fires would be “in prescription”. The Park Service is well known for losing their management fires, which can be set during high temperatures and dry conditions.
This may be one of the most contentious new Forest Plans under the new Planning Rule. I wonder how much it will change when the only lumber mill in southern California goes bankrupt.