After the Fires: Redwood Rustling on Our Hillsides.

From our friends at NapaVision 2050

After the Fires: Redwood Rustling on Our Hillsides. Who’s in Charge Here?

PG&E has hired teams of tree cutters and arborists from out of state to work on the right of way/easements for the PG&E power line. These hired-saws appear to have no idea about redwood resiliency after fires. A research study after the 2008 fires in the coastal redwood forests has called redwoods “almost indestructible.” Berkeley ecologist Benjamin S. Ramage, who led the study, reported “One year later, even large trees where all the foliage was scorched off were covered with a light green fuzz of new foliage. Of trees over 1.5 feet in diameter, maybe only one redwood out of a hundred was killed.”

But the tree cutters on Mt. Veeder appear not to have heard of this study. And unlike areas where severely damaged oaks had to be cut and were then cut up into small logs, the downed redwoods are loaded onto flatbed trailers by excavators and hauled off. One wonders, are they planning on selling the lumber?

To add insult to injury, the workers are using the south end of Mt Veeder to transport their equipment and the trunks, all passing over the restricted culvert with a load limit of 12 tons, easily surpassing the load limit for that road section.  If that stone culvert collapses and cuts off the south access to Mt Veeder Road, another burden will be placed on the residents.  Steve Lederer knows well about this culvert limits after neighborhood protests when Mayacamas Vineyards received county permission to transport a 40 ton tractor across the culvert.

To date, residents are doing the policing themselves, staying onsite to protect the redwoods and keeping the tree cutters off their and others’ properties.This is a situation which could escalate without our supervisors’ intervention. Although PG&E has the right to go on private property to take care of a PG&E easement, including cutting trees within the 20′ easement, they cannot haul the logs off without the consent of the owner. One resident is in touch with the lawyers who handled the PG&E disaster in San Bruno. Is this high-handed logging in the guise of Right of Way protection?  Certainly nothing about this is collaborative.

It is critically important that you contact the two supervisors whose districts include this what is effectively a logging operation, Ryan Gregory and Diane Dillon. Tell them that our redwoods are a precious resource and their viability needs to be assessed by arborists who are familiar with redwood forests. Ask them to intervene and protect our forests and citizens, as well as to investigate the use of the 12 ton culvert to transport the logged redwoods.

 

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