Guest Commentary: Sierra Pacific is Clear Cutting in the Sierras

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by Elise Nabors

The Sierra Nevada is such a crucial part of life here in California. It is one of California’s most breathtaking landscapes and one of the world’s most precious resources. Millions of people visit the Sierra every year to camp, fish, hike or just take in the beautiful views. Being one of the most carbon intense places in the world, its forests are a critical line of defense against global warming. With 60% of our drinking water coming from there and 1/2 our plants and animals living there, it is clear to see that this 400 mile long mountain chain is incredibly important to us.

But, the Sierra’s forests are being clearcut at an alarming rate. Within this century, over one million acres will be clearcut, an area bigger than Yosemite National Park. The biggest logging company in California is Sierra Pacific Industries, or SPI, and it just so happens that they are the second largest private landowners in the country…they own one percent of California. They are clear cutting huge tracts of Sierra forests at a time, often destroying wild forests and replacing them with lifeless tree plantations.

Clear cutting is an outdated practice that results in loss of plant and animal species, silt and herbicides in our rivers and streams, and often increases the intensity of forest fires. This is not necessary! We can still leave beautiful forests for future generations and log in a sustainable way.

The main reason SPI is able to get away with this is because so many people don’t know what they are doing and the companies that buy from them haven’t demanded anything different. But we can change that.

We have to tell people about what SPI is planning to do, and get involved in the campaign to stop them!

ForestEthics, an environmental group that works to protect endangered forests around the world, is holding a kick-off meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday, September 12 at 6:30 and everyone should come! It will discuss what SPI is doing, and what we can do to change their practices so we have a Sierra Nevada in the future.

The meeting will be at the Sierra 2 Center (Room 12), 2791 24th Street in Sacramento. Everyone should come, bring your friends, and take part in the movement to protect what we love so much.

For more information, contact Elise at (916) 446-8062×111 or elise@greencorps.org

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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12 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Sierra Pacific is Clear Cutting in the Sierras”

  1. Darnell Watson

    If you take a flight east toward Denver or Salt Lake City from Sacramento you can easily see the clear cutting and the replanted tree plantations in various states of re-growth in the Sierras. There are many burned out areas to go along with the obvious man altered terrain. I am not a tree hugger but the site of all the “holes” in the forest does make you question what is going on in the area.

  2. Darnell Watson

    If you take a flight east toward Denver or Salt Lake City from Sacramento you can easily see the clear cutting and the replanted tree plantations in various states of re-growth in the Sierras. There are many burned out areas to go along with the obvious man altered terrain. I am not a tree hugger but the site of all the “holes” in the forest does make you question what is going on in the area.

  3. Darnell Watson

    If you take a flight east toward Denver or Salt Lake City from Sacramento you can easily see the clear cutting and the replanted tree plantations in various states of re-growth in the Sierras. There are many burned out areas to go along with the obvious man altered terrain. I am not a tree hugger but the site of all the “holes” in the forest does make you question what is going on in the area.

  4. Darnell Watson

    If you take a flight east toward Denver or Salt Lake City from Sacramento you can easily see the clear cutting and the replanted tree plantations in various states of re-growth in the Sierras. There are many burned out areas to go along with the obvious man altered terrain. I am not a tree hugger but the site of all the “holes” in the forest does make you question what is going on in the area.

  5. Anonymous

    Is what I heard about the Sierras true: For every one tree which is felled by logging companies for lumber or other uses, 11 are lost to forest fires in a typical year?

  6. Anonymous

    Is what I heard about the Sierras true: For every one tree which is felled by logging companies for lumber or other uses, 11 are lost to forest fires in a typical year?

  7. Anonymous

    Is what I heard about the Sierras true: For every one tree which is felled by logging companies for lumber or other uses, 11 are lost to forest fires in a typical year?

  8. Anonymous

    Is what I heard about the Sierras true: For every one tree which is felled by logging companies for lumber or other uses, 11 are lost to forest fires in a typical year?

  9. Anonymous

    anonymous 11:18, regardless of if your ‘statistic’ is correct or not, you aren’t comparing similar events or resulting effects. Your reasoning is the same as saying that car crashes kill more people than smoking, so we shouldn’t stop people from smoking.

    Typical right-wing obfustaction.

  10. Anonymous

    anonymous 11:18, regardless of if your ‘statistic’ is correct or not, you aren’t comparing similar events or resulting effects. Your reasoning is the same as saying that car crashes kill more people than smoking, so we shouldn’t stop people from smoking.

    Typical right-wing obfustaction.

  11. Anonymous

    anonymous 11:18, regardless of if your ‘statistic’ is correct or not, you aren’t comparing similar events or resulting effects. Your reasoning is the same as saying that car crashes kill more people than smoking, so we shouldn’t stop people from smoking.

    Typical right-wing obfustaction.

  12. Anonymous

    anonymous 11:18, regardless of if your ‘statistic’ is correct or not, you aren’t comparing similar events or resulting effects. Your reasoning is the same as saying that car crashes kill more people than smoking, so we shouldn’t stop people from smoking.

    Typical right-wing obfustaction.

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