|Work for healthy forests
Clear cutting in California forests has increased by 225% since 1994. In the Sierra
Nevada the increase is over 2000%. All major streams in the northern third of
the state, have been declared impaired under the Clean Water Act, primarily because
of pollution from clear cuts, which includes toxic herbicides and silt. All major
streams in Santa Cruz County have also been declared impaired as a result of sediment
from logging and other roads.
Coho salmon populations in the northern portion of California are at 1% of historic
levels, primarily because their spawning streams and gravel are silted over. The
California Board of Forestry is loaded with timber people, and usually sides with
the industry. Now Sierra Pacific Industries has announced plans to clearcut one
million acres of the Sierra Nevada during the next few years, and has already
logged a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail north of Lake Tahoe.
In Santa Cruz County, the California Department of Forestry continues to approve
poorly-prepared timber harvest plans, refuses to enforce the forest practice rules,
and amends plans without any public or agency review. Our streams continue to
degrade, and our coho and steelhead populations continue to suffer. In February
the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a hearing on
issuing new timber waivers for waste discharges. Please join us in working to
keep our water supply clean and our streams healthy.
To work on forestry issues in your county, call Robin Way (Monterey) at 646-8649
or Jodi Frediani (Santa Cruz) at 426-1697.