Forest Unlimited: Abolish Clearcutting Campaign.

Forest Unlimited: Abolish Clearcutting Campaign

The Sierra Club produced the above video, “Worse than a clearcut”  on the act of clearcutting a forest for vineyards. Very informative a must watch.
Forest Unlimited Supporters,
While we are being safe practicing Home Sheltering, there are things that we can do to protect our environment. Since clearcutting methods (logging all trees in one or more entries) is still standard practice in California and nationwide, the Sierra Club has started a campaign to abolish it. Forest Unlimited has opposed these logging methods since our  inception and support this campaign. 

This type of logging has various names beside the actual word, “clearcutting” and is the method preferred by corporate owners to maximize profits leaving the other “costs” of environmental damage and restoration for the public to “pay” for them.  Clearcutting methods destroy structural forests, diminish watershed abilities for communities downslope, causes massive erosion and landslides, destroys wildlife habitat, creates high severity wildfire threats, uses large quantities of herbicides to kill unwanted growth afterward, and adds pollutants to the air from burning slash piles. As if this was not enough, these environmental impacts, cumultatively, reduce the ability for the world to address global climate change impacts. 

Larry Hanson, Board President
Forest Unlimited
Letter Writing Campaign to Stop Clearcutting
Stopping forest clearcutting in California starts by creating public demand for an end to this horrific timber industry practice. Letters to the editor of California newspapers can inform people about how clearcutting forests creates problems for California.  Informed citizens can then push their legislators to choose whether they represent us or the timber industry. This is how change happens.
You can help by sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Writing a letter can feel like a daunting task, which is why the Stop Clearcutting CA Campaign is offering a training that makes letter writing easier. 
Sierra Club’s Training:
Helps you recognize the right newspaper article to respond to Provides a template that covers the essential points to make in an effective letter Provides facts about how clearcutting adversely impacts the benefits of forests Teaches you how to submit the letter. Introduces you to other writers to make it more fun.
Please join us for a 1 1/2-hour class on Wednesday June 10th at 4 PM using Zoom.  Sign up here .
We invite all who want to pitch in and make a difference to come to our LTE training. This training will help you become a more effective advocate for our forests and writer for the cause. Every letter written makes progress towards changing the public narrative around this issue. With every person our letters reach, our campaign to stop clearcutting grows. Your participation can help make a difference.
You can also  register here.
For questions, contact

Sierra Club Clearcut Campaign: Moving Forward Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic

By John Trinkl and Karen Maki

Like everything else, the workings of the Stop Clearcutting California Campaign have been disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic. California’s “shelter in place” order has impacted our campaign in both positive and negative ways. Planned meetings with state legislators have been canceled, and forest ground and small airplane tours have been postponed. However, Californians holding up in their houses have more time on their hands and are eager for something new to do.

The campaign has adapted by expanding activities volunteers can do from home such as posting on social media and writing letters to the editor of newspapers. We will utilize video to engage and educate volunteers. In the next month, we will be offering Clearcutting 101 and Letter to the Editor training sessions via Zoom. We have published a new petition calling on the governor to ban clearcutting. Please TAKE ACTION here.

The pandemic has also impacted the way state forest-related agencies function. For example, the Los Angeles Times recently published an article “Coronavirus Complicates California Wildfire Preparation”, which noted that

Our work is cut out for all of us. Stay strong. Stay well. And stay home.

John Trinkl and Karen Maki are volunteers for the Stop Clearcutting California Campaign.

Board of Forestry Approves Misguided Vegetation Management Plan

By Daniel Barad

While most of us were still eating leftover gingersnaps, on December 30 the Board of Forestry approved a wildlands management plan that endangers California’s famous chaparral, disregards ecosystem diversity, and ultimately isn’t likely to protect Californians from the most destructive fires.

Work on the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) and its accompanying Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), which make up the plan, was initiated more than a decade ago. In the interim, climate change has arrived and the nature of wildfires has changed.

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Unfortunately, the final version of the plan doesn’t reflect the knowledge gained over the last decade. Moreover, it may have been too ambitious to begin with by assuming that a single environmental review could adequately cover a state as geographically and ecologically diverse as California.

A decade ago, wildfire season in the state lasted just several months. Now, as the impacts of climate change set in–including drier seasons and unusually high winds in unexpected places– the season has become nearly year round. Likewise, the emphasis on protecting communities by focusing on fire breaks and thinning of distant forests, has been proven ineffective in protecting homes.

Nevertheless, the new wildfire plan emphasizes conducting more than 250,000 acres of tree removal, prescribed burns and other fuel reduction every year on over 6 million acres of California, even though, as the CalVTP flatly states, that work won’t prevent. the devastation associated with wind-driven wildfires. Six wind-driven wildfires were responsible for 87% of the damage associated with California’s 2018 wildfires.

The plan also endangers the state’s chaparral ecosystems by failing to recognize that they have a fire tolerance that is distinct from traditional forests. Chaparral ecosystems around the state cannot tolerate frequent prescribed burns. Additionally, thinning of chaparral opens up opportunities for more flammable invasive grasses to take hold.

Fire experts, like respected former U.S. Forest Service scientist Jack Cohen, argue that the best way to protect lives and property from wildfire threats is to create limited defensible space and harden homes through measures like attic vent ember guards.

The CalVTP does not include any incentives or requirements for these preventative measures.

In the last two years, while the CalVTP was going through final development, a coalition of environmental groups, including Sierra Club California, presented written comments on the plan raising concerns about its inadequacy.

Unfortunately, most of our concerns were not addressed in the final document.