“Use every damn tool you’ve got,” he said. “If we could have beavers on crack out there I’d be donating to that process — anything that will speed up the pace and scale of this thing.”
Dr. Malcolm North
Bark Beetle Epidemic in Calaveras County
The bark beetles started their invasion when I used to live there, in Mark Twain’s famous Calaveras County. Now it looks like it has reached epidemic levels, requiring emergency action, from multiple agencies.
Even with recent wet winters, tree mortality will remain a pressing issue as long as bark beetle infestations and drought conditions continue, said Brady McElroy, a hazard tree specialist in the Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest.
“By no means is the issue going away,” McElroy said. “What the Forest Service has to focus on are the high priority areas, the immediate hazards to homes, roads and highways.”
In the long-term, McElroy said the Forest Service hopes to increase the pace and scale of thinning projects to restore overstocked forests that have been allowed for by a century of fire suppression.
“Our forests are overstocked, which increases competition (and) stressors on the trees, (and consequently) their ability to defend against bark beetle,” McElroy said. “The ongoing goal is to thin forests to a healthy kind of pre-European settlement stand to where they’re a little more resilient. We’re focusing on high-priority areas in the wildland-urban interface … We know what happens when these overstocked forests catch fire – we lose them.”
Diana Fredlund, a public affairs officer with the Stanislaus National Forest, said that although federal budget decreases have impacted the scale of the work for the Forest Service, the agency has been able to collaborate with private, county, state and other federal agencies and contractors for tree removal projects.
“We do what we can with what we have,” Fredlund said.
The Forest Service offers its own tree mortality program for homeowners with properties adjacent to Forest Service land. Property owners can fill out a Hazard Tree Evaluation Request Form to be considered for hazard tree abatement.
Sierra Club Comments
I have seen a trend in postings from the Sierra Club, on their Facebook page. Online petitions have been popular with eco-groups but, those petitions really don’t do anything. They seem to be a way of riling up their followers, gathering personal information, and receiving donations. There is also a sizable amount of people commenting who do not side with the Sierra Club.
The particular posting I will be presenting regards the Giant Sequoia National Monument, and how the Trump Administration would affect it. The Sierra Club implies (and their public believes) that Trump would cut down the Giant Sequoia National Monument, without immediate action. With over 500 comments, there are ample examples of what people are thinking.
“So much of the redwoods and Giant Sequoias have already been cut down… the lumber trucks involved had signs which read ” Trees… America’s renewable resource”… and just exactly how to you “renew” a 2 thousand year old tree??? When a job becomes even remotely scarce, one must find a new occupation. Having cut down the redwoods,(RIP Pacific Lumber and the “Redwood Highway”) and when they’ve cut down the national forests (public lands), are “they” going to insist on the right to come onto my land and cut down my trees as well… to provide jobs for the lumber industry? The National forests and Monuments are public lands, and no one has the right to turn them over to private interests for money making purposes. When are they going to see that there is a higher calling here? The forests provide for much of the fresh air we enjoy… they take in the carbon monoxide we exhale, and they exhale the oxygen so necessary to us. They each also take up 300 gallons of water, so provide for erosion control, and I could go on forever with the benefits of trees… but there will still be short sighted detractors who are only able to see the dollar signs in this issue. If providing jobs is the object… bring back our manufacturing jobs from overseas, all you big companies… your bottom line profit will be less, but you will have brought back the jobs to the USA, and you claim that is the object…???? Investing in the big companies in order to get rich does not make the investing noble or honorable when it is condoning taking jobs off-shore to enrich the few. … at the cost of the lost jobs for our people. Love your neighbor..”
I think that statement speaks for itself. Well-meaning but, misinformed.
“Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Keep loggers out of National Giant Sequoia Forests. Forest rangers and the National Parks already do controlled burning when needed to protect forest ecosystem health. The idea that commerical logging companies can be trusted with that task is preposterous.”
I wonder if he had noticed all those dead trees inside the Monument. Another example of not knowing who is taking care of the Monument.
“No such thing as controlled logging look at the clear cut coast. Once you let them in they will take it all and say Oops. A long time ago Pacific lumber clear cut thousands of acres illegally and Department of forestry did nothing. Things have not changed.”
Yes, things have changed. Logging IS controlled in Sierra Nevada National Forests… for the last 26 years.
“Destroying over 200k acres of sequoias and leaving ONLY 90k acres is NOT “CONTROLLED LOGGING “. OUR planet needs trees to produce oxygen and just how long do you think those jobs will last?”
Someone thinks there is a HUGE chunk of pristine pure Giant Sequoia groves. Thinning forests is not destruction, folks.
“I went to sign this and put my address and what not but then I skipped over my phone number and it won’t let me sign it! Unless you give your phone number it’s not going to San. I will not give out my phone number. Is there another way to sign for this?”
There were many comments like this one.
“They are both classified under same genisus of Sequoia, It’s their enviroment that makes them different. The Redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) along N Cal coastline and then the Sequoias trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) found in the Sierra Nevadas mountain regions are the same yet very different trees because of the chactoristics. Both trees share their unique and acceptional height and massive girth size, they share the same red wood tones.”
Someone thinks they are an authority in tree Taxonomy.
“As someone who works in timber, don’t blame it on us! Many foresters care about sustainable forestry. I hate Donald Trump just as much as anyone who cares about the environment”
Well, that is sure saying something, eh?
“The forests are being burned down by all these un-natural wild fires that are created by the powers that be to carry out agenda 21/30. It’s not a secret but most people don’t want to see it & the common mentality is if we don’t see it, or address it, it will go away. Right?”
There’s more and more loonies out there saying this stuff, and blaming “Directed Energy Weapons” for starting all the wildfires.
“There will be no more forest in America, it will be a big cacino and golf courses.”
And there’s other conspiracy theories out there, too!
“The most deushiest thing ever! Poor Trees “
People do believe that Trump would clearcut the Giant Sequoias.
“Oh yes look what tree hungers did to Oregon”
I love a well-mispelled insult!
“No More RAPE AND MURDER OF OUR TREES”
I wonder what real violent crime victims think of this comparison. Should we let those trees be horribly burned alive, or eaten by insects, resulting in a long and slow starvation death? *smirk*
“Wth…. He truely is satin”
“Drop big rocks on their heads. Something like Ewoks from Return of the Jedi all those years ago. Ewoks were “original” monkey wrenchers.”
That’s a lovely solution! Violence will fix everything!
“I think you could stand to be a bit less adversarial in your comments. Oil has nothing to do with this subject and devalues your argument. There is no reason why the land cannot be managed without giving it away to unregulated for-profit companies. That is the right answer.”
Yep, there just might be oil underneath those giant trees. Yep, gotta cut em all down to make sure! Misguided but, kinda, sorta, on the right path.
“The devil could burn it all down there because most of the state is so ungodly. Trump isn’t your problem. Godlessness and son keeps your minds and state in a state of anarchy. Poor people. I will keep praying you will find out that you all need to pray to the living God.”
Yep, because…. ummm, …. God recognizes where California’s boundaries are???!!??
“Try direct energy weapons”
Certainly, the Reptilians and Nibiru are to blame, fer sure, fer sure.
“Because of Monoculture”
Blame the old clearcuts!
“Anyone cutting a tree should be SHOT!!!!”
And another violent solution.
“The lumbar goes to China and else where, not used used in USA, great loose loose thing.the logs get shipped out of country destroys old growth forest well some one will make $$$$$ of it but it won’t be you”
“Its not about forest management its about trumps business buddies being allowed to buy the land and develop it”
And even another conspiracy theory. People love to say “I wouldn’t put it past him” when promoting such stuff.
This American mindset, on a world stage, is troubling. People proudly display their ignorance and stupidity to fight a non-existent issue. America doesn’t believe the truth anymore, and the Sierra Club, and others, are spreading misinformation through phony petitions.
Sierra Nevada Logging Examples
Back in 2012, I worked my last season with the Forest Service, on the Amador Ranger District of the Eldorado National Forest. In particular, I led the crew in marking the cut trees in this overcrowded unit.
The above picture shows the partially logged unit, as well as the sizes of logs thinned.
This part of the same unit shows a finished portion, and two other log landings.
Here is a link to the larger view.
There are also other completed cutting units in the area, which I worked in. Most of those were also cut in 2018, six years after they were marked. The existing plantations were cut back in the 80’s. At least one new goshawk nest was found, and the cutting unit was dropped.
I found an LA Times article regarding the Rim Fire, as well as the future of forest management within the Sierra Nevada. Of course, Chad Hanson re-affirms his preference to end all logging, everywhere. There’s a lot of seemingly balanced reporting but, there is no mention of the Sierra Nevada Framework, and its diameter limits. There is also the fact that any change to the SNF will take years to amend. There was also no mention that only about 20,000 Federal acres of the Rim Fire was salvaged, with some of that being in 40-year old plantations.
There might also be another ‘PictureGate“, involving Chad Hanson displaying supposed Forest Service clearcut salvage logging. His folks have already displayed their inability to locate themselves on a map. If he really had solid evidence, he SURELY would have brought it into court
Additionally, the comments are a gold mine for the misinformation and polarization of the supposedly ‘progressive’ community of readers.
Trump “demands” more logging. Really? Does he ever request, suggest or ask for information? I’m tired of hearing of Trump’s “demands.” It could be that some logging would be beneficial but the minute Trump “demands” it, it is suspect. One of his friends will be making millions on the logging and probably giving a kickback to a Trump business. Trump is the destructor of all things beautiful or sacred, the King Midas of the GOP.
A tiny increase in logging of small trees is very unlikely to generate “millions”.
You have no idea what “forest management” is. You want to clearcut all of the old growth forests and then turn them into Christmas tree lots and pine plantations. That is industrial tree farming, not forest management. That is the dumb dogma, speaking, not actual management of the forests.
Most people in southern California don’t know that Forest Service clearcutting and old growth harvesting in the Sierra Nevada has been banned since 1993. The article makes no mention of that.
Riddle me this, Lou. How did the forests manage before we spent $2.5 billion dollars a year on fire suppression? Are we the problem or the cure? Is this just another out of control bureaucracy with a life of its own?
Of course, no solution offered.
New Study About Forests Impacted by Extreme Mortality
Massive tree mortality has occurred rapidly in frequent-fire-adapted forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. This mortality is a product of acute drought compounded by the long-established removal of a key ecosystem process: frequent, low- to moderate-intensity fire. The recent tree mortality has many implications for the future of these forests and the ecological goods and services they provide to society. Future wildfire hazard following this mortality can be generally characterized by decreased crown fire potential and increased surface fire intensity in the short to intermediate term. The scale of present tree mortality is so large that greater potential for “mass fire” exists in the coming decades, driven by the amount and continuity of dry, combustible, large woody material that could produce large, severe fires. For long-term adaptation to climate change, we highlight the importance of moving beyond triage of dead and dying trees to making “green” (live) forests more resilient.
What is Beyond the “Fog of War”?
There are scary and uncertain times ahead for our forests. There is just too much “Fog of War” going on for the public to sort out and fact-check for themselves. Even the ‘fact-checkers’ should be suspect, until proven reliable and bias-free. The rise of ‘fake news’ has blurred multiple lines, and many people, even in mass media, fall for the hoaxes, satire or misinformation. (Example: An article appeared on the Grist website, showing concern about a recall of “Dog Condoms”, presenting the link to www.dogcondoms.com )
Giant Sequoia National Monument
With the general public becoming enraged about Giant Sequoia logging scenarios, here is a picture of some Bigtrees in what used to be the Sequoia National Forest. Chances are, the review will recommend keeping all groves within the Monument, adding some buffer zones and connectivity, then returning a large portion, including logging roads, skid trails, plantations and stumps, back to the National Forest.
The ‘Trumpspiracies’ abound on the Sierra Club’s Facebook fundraising content comments. They make up these elaborate and unlikely situations where the “logging companies” would come in and make wild profits off of cutting Giant Sequoias. Some think that they would be cut to burn for power. More were sure that oil wells and mining would happen once the trees were gone. One insisted that the wood could be exported, milled and made into tables, “destined for the Arabian Peninsula”. Many are comparing this National Monument review to the destruction of historical sites by radical Islam. If you’re going to oppose actual Trump era actions, maybe, just maybe, one should actually use facts?
With Sequoias being a rather sensitive issue, what shall we do, when very soon we will need to thin some of these Giant Sequoia plantations, scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada? Here’s a sample of one on the Eldorado.
Trump Reportedly Wants to Clearcut Giant Sequoias
As per the Sierra Club
“Logging companies are lying in wait, chainsaws ready, for Trump to chop the protections of Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Don’t let Trump give loggers free reign to fell majestic trees. Become a monthly donor to save this precious ecosystem: http://sc.org/2upyrE6 ”
Leave no funding opportunity left unexploited!
Massive Crater Lake Wilderness Area Fantasy
Oregon Wild has proposed a massive half million acre Wilderness Area, partly to “protect” Crater Lake. The Klamath County Commissioners are saying no, with fears that summer fires would affect public health, and that those unhealthy forests need active management.
Here is a map of what Oregon Wild wants done.