Dear Readers: As you know, I am working hard on our AUG. 28TH MARCH ON SACRAMENTO — Saving California from Big Government Eco-regulation. I wanted to do a summation pieces covering different aspects of the draconian and unnecessary environmental regulations smothering California’s businesses. So far, I have covered the state’s farming and trucking industries.
Today’s post is the most personal, and goes to saving our logging and timber industry from eco-bureaucrats.
I will show you why. Below is a picture of my community, taken in late October, 2003 — during the Cedar Fire that ripped through San Diego.
My home is not far from where this picture was taken.
In the rush to create “wildlife corridors” and in the environmental activists condemning sensible wild area management as “unnatural”, chaparral and brush was allowed to grow uncontrollably, dry out, and acts as tinder. As a result, when the smoke cleared, three quarters of a million acres were destroyed, 26 people were dead, 3,700 homes were destroyed, and billions of dollars were lost. Wildlife also suffered greatly, their habitat was destroyed, and soil stripped from hillsides left streams and reservoirs clogged with silt and debris. I live in a condominium, the patio on the back of our neighbor’s unit was burnt — if the winds had not abated in the later afternoon when the above photo was taken, I would have lost my home.
Clearly, this is another example of eco-do-gooderism that has toxic, unintended consequences.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the problems facing our state’s loggers and timber-workers, who create real wealth for our state. Because of progress in technology and scientific understanding, our timber industry actual works toward creating a better environment for man, beast and plant. Our lumber workers need our help to fight the erroneous presumptions, bad science, and power-abuse associated with our state’s environmental activist groups and the regulators promulgating their harmful ideas.
One of the most toxic pieces of legislation derived from this type of thinking is California’s Global Warming Climate Bill (AB 32, which the state version of Cap and Trade). This bill has strangled business in our state to the point of complete economic destruction. To compound matters, our legislators continue to push bills through that will only make our draconian laws even harder on businesses (e.g., AB 19, the Carbon Footprint Labeling Bill that requires all products shipped into our state to have a carbon footprint label on them).
Most California paper products are now being imported into our state because the AB 32 laws essentially make diesel run chippers used in the logging process illegal to operate. Golden California — rich with timber resources — must import the vast majority of building materials from other states. Regulations are so onerous that it now costs 30% more to bring a standard 2×4 to market in California than it does in Oregon or Washington. Our loggers can’t work.
The good news is that people are working to repeal AB32, and the March on Sacramento will help support for this repeal effort to grow. The proposal is in the form of “Two-Year Bill” numbered AB 118, and is being sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Logue. NC Media Watch has an update on the repeal, as follows:
The Two Year Bill, AB 118, is alive and can receive, and is receiving work to obtain backers (co-authors or principal co-authors) and outreach can take place. Outreach is taking place and there are more and more legislators listening.
Logue knew what he was up against with AB 118 (figure AB 32 is the baby of the current governor) and now there are 28 Co-Authors; outreach is being conducted to the Hispanic Caucus and the Black Caucus groups; why outreach? Because who will be most affected by the terrible effects in “32”?
Contact numbers for the Natural Resources Committee members bottling up this bill can be found by clicking HERE. After the March on Sacramento, the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition and other citizen action groups will focus on this repeal effort in conjunction with some of our nationally-oriented efforts.
The unintended consequences of AB32? Joblessness. California’s unemployment rate of 11.6% is the sixth highest in the nation. The unintended consequences of forest/brush policies in general? Wildfires and the classic “Blue Ribbon Commission”. Dr. Thomas M. Bonnicksen, professor emeritus of forest science at Texas A&M University, wrote about the findings of the state commission that looked into the Cedar Fire of 2003 and stated:
The government’s official report states, “Similar fire events will happen again.” It also states, “The way fires burned in the past is how they will burn in the future.” These statements mean officials have thrown up their hands and given up on preventing wildfires. They think all they can do is fight fires and accept the inevitable loss of lives, property, and forests. I can’t accept this defeatism. Government lands are the source of the wildfire crisis and government officials must solve it.
California is spending 21 times as much to fight fires today as it did in 1980, yet the area burned is increasing.
The most important recommendation in the Blue Ribbon Fire Commission report, although buried and overlooked, was to create “a safer mix” of age classes “in chaparral” and “fuel types” in forests. Nothing would be more effective for preventing future disasters and saving lives, property, and forests.
Large chaparral fires, which killed most of the people and destroyed most of the homes in 2003, can be prevented. This is easily done by breaking up old highly flammable chaparral, which means 40 years or older, into small patches and surrounding them with young chaparral that doesn’t burn easily. Prescribed fire may be the only tool available to do it until we find an economic value for chaparral, such as biomass energy.
The same method works in forests. Reduce the size of patches of old overcrowded forests that burn hot and isolate them from one another with forests that are open and have little fuel. This will keep wildfires contained so that they don’t spread across landscapes and destroy whole forests and communities. Unlike chaparral, mechanical methods work best in forests because they pay the cost and they are safer than prescribed fire.
Yet, the eco-tyrants would have you believe that thinning forests is automatically a bad thing. The “greedy” timber industrialists will wipe out the forests for profit.
As citizens, we can no longer allow these anti-business premises go unchallenged. The lumber industry needs healthy forests, and have made great strides to enhance production while protecting the environment. Californians need to act NOW to save our jobs, or homes, and our state.
For example, the California Forestry Association reports that a group of aggressive eco-activists are filing another contemptible lawsuit. The Sierra Forest Legacy (SFL), as part of their ongoing program to stop fuel reduction projects on national forestlands These projects are not some sort of corporate-lumber money grabs, but efforts aimed at protecting communities and resources throughout California’s Sierra Nevada. It is just such fuel reduction programs that will prevent wildfires such as the one that nearly destroyed my home from occurring again.
The endless flow of forest-management lawsuits must stop if California’s public forests are to be made safe from the threat of wildfires. California’s citizens must get active, engaged, and informed if we are to stop the damage being done by pompous eco-tryrants.
There are other examples of ill-considered requirements hurting California’s citizens, as well as creating environmental problems themselves. Here is a list for interested readers:
CALIFORNIA LOSING MORE THAN 30,700 ACRES OF FORESTLAND PER YEAR: California has lost forests on federally owned land at the rate of more than 30,700 acres per year over the last seven years because of a lack of replanting following catastrophic forest fires.
CALIFORNIA BLACK OAKS BEING KILLED BECAUSE OF POOR GOVERNMENT LAND MANAGEMENT. As many as 88 percent of black oaks in the Sierra Nevada’s conifer forests may be seriously weakened or imprisoned by densely packed trees. Most of these sick old oaks will not survive unless they are released and the forest is restored to health. Rather than admit they are wrong, environmental activists refuse to allow the tree thinning that would free the old oaks, and make our forests less susceptible to wildfire and disease. They don’t want anyone to thin trees.
This is especially troubling to me, as the Black Oak is my favorite tree — as my dear husband will attest, as I make him set-up camp in oak groves and drive out of our way to see oak forests whenever we are on family trips:
FUEL BREAKS CREATE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY: We spend most taxpayer money – tens of millions of dollars – on fuel breaks. We spend the rest cutting dead trees along roads and near homes without thinning overgrown forests, which stay thick and dangerous.
Finally, speaking of eco-tryrants, here is a good example of what happens with ecological activists normally focused on “natural foods” disagree with the policy of the successful, savvy, and employee-friendly executive of the food chain where they normally buy their granola. It is really time to extract political power from these fruits and nuts. Our concerns must also extend to the national level on this matter, as Obama’s environmental bureaucrats are exploiting Endangered Species Act listings to destroy jobs, drive up energy costs and thwart progress.
The mask of the concerned environmentalist has slipped — it has been stated clearly that they will ignore fact and use emotionalism to win their arguments. We urge all concerned Californians to join us for the Aug, 28th March on Sacramento. Literally, lives depend on our successful push-back of big government eco-regulations.