Satellite Photos Don't Lie!
Sequoia Monument does NOT need to be logged to create Gaps and Openings!
Here is a USGS aerial photograph of the Tule District in the heart of Sequoia National Monument. The Forest Service says that they need to create more openings in the forest canopy in order to protect the Monument against catastrophic fire. Openings? See all those openings in the photo? Those are all clearcuts, concentrated in the forest zone area. (The soutwest corner with the squiggly line of Highway 190 lacks clearcuts because it is in the lower elevation chapparal zone.) This photo was taken in 1995. The Forest Service now claims that they need to create a "mosaic" of openings for the sake of fire protection. They already have a mosaic of openings!
YOU MUST remind yourselves of what Sequoia Forest really looks like! The big picture. It is NOT a contiguous decadent untouched forest that is begging for chain saws. IT IS CRIPPLED by USFS openings and logging. That's why we worked for 20 years to have it protected FROM logging, even as the trucks were rolling. Mosaic? It's wounded by mosaics! It BEGS for our help to protect it. This USFS plan will bring it to its knees!. Our old growth species are barely hanging on to their last little patches of habitat: the edge effect alone is hundreds of thousands of miles on thousands of clearcuts. EVERY remaining pristine acre must be protected if we are to save rare creatures like the Pacific fisher.
The Proclamation says: QUOTE! "These forests need restoration to counteract the effects of a century of fire suppression and logging." Restoration FROM LOGGING! Not restoration WITH MORE logging! Every remaining tree in the General Forest Zone is needed until past logging damage has healed!
The Forest Service's Plan for Sequoia National Monument will actually increase the fire risk. The Forest Service attempts to justify this by showing on the DEIS Fire Susceptiblity Map that brushy clearcut areas - containing highly-flammable dry brush as well as young trees - have LOW susceptibility to fire. Likewise, for the older shady forests which fire scientists consistently identify as low fire risk, these UNLOGGED areas are shown as HIGH fire risk. They will target the HIGH for 'treatment' and for creating openings. Our forest needs a mosaic of openings? Common sense tells us absolutely not!