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I glanced at the January/February issue of Sierra and thought that the Club had finally arrived in the 21st century, until I realized that you had to inform us that the Denali climbers on the cover were "black" people. Looks like racism is alive and well in the editorial room.
OPTIMISM IS POWER
I am ashamed to say that I often dread reading Sierra. I love the magazine and the Sierra Club, but with each turn of a page, I sometimes find myself feeling more discouraged, more disheartened, and more pessimistic about the state of our climate and our planet. However, "All In" (January/February), adapted from Michael Brune's speech, with its positive and promising news, was a complete joy. Uplifting articles like this are exactly what is needed to encourage and inspire activists of all ages to swing into action and passionately find solutions to the issues plaguing our planet. I'd love to read more like it.
St. Louis, Missouri
LET IT BURN
Your article on the 2013 Rim Fire in the Sierra Nevada ("Grapple," page 22, January/February) discussed the U.S. Forest Service's perspective on fire in our forests. However, professional ecologists who study these areas have found the agency's assumptions about fire to be outdated and incorrect.
On October 30, 2013, more than 200 forest scientists sent a letter to Congress regarding the Rim Fire, concluding that high-intensity fire areas—patches where fire kills most or all of the trees—create "some of the best wildlife habitat in forests and are an essential stage of natural forest processes." The scientists also noted that this rich and unique postfire habitat is the "least protected of all forest habitat types and is often as rare as, or rarer than, old-growth forest" because of postfire logging and fire suppression policies on national forest lands. (The scientists' letter can be read at bit.ly/1aOKWIr.)
Research Ecologist and Director
John Muir Project
Big Bear City, California
Because of an editing error, "All In" (January/February) wrongly stated that U.S. wind turbines generate as much electricity as 60 large nuclear reactors; it should have specified that they have a combined electricity-generating capacity equivalent to 60 large nuclear reactors. "Fractured" (January/February) should have located Fort Collins, Colorado, as northwest of Greeley.