Timber sale

By From page A5 | June 18, 2014


I just looked at a package of d-CON. Its contents are 99.99 percent inert ingredients. It contains just .01 percent poison. Although this is just a little bit, it is sufficient to kill mice.

Now consider the Eldorado National Forest. At a May 21 meeting with Laurence Crabtree, director of the El Dorado National Forest, he stated that although the forest grows about 250,000,000 board feet each year, he has not yet sold one tree … and might not be able to sell any trees. No one wants to bid on a timber sale without having someplace to utilize the wood harvested. Due to a lack of logs, most lumber mills in El Dorado County have closed down. Most logs from El Dorado County are trucked to Lincoln for milling. The cost of diesel makes trucking logs long distances prohibitive.

Furthermore, Mr. Crabtree decried the effort legally necessary to prepare a timber sale project. He told us the Trustle Project in Grizzly Flat took almost two years but should be completed soon. The Antiquities Act, the Endangered Species Act and the need to involve Fish and Wildlife resulted in a folder of papers about one inch thick.

Although the Trustle Project was undertaken to clear trees for fire prevention, there is no guarantee the project won’t be stopped by a lawsuit. You see, anyone may sue to stop the cutting of trees in the National Forest. Anyone who believes the habitat of some animal might be unduly disturbed may legally create a lawsuit to stop the project.

Our laws governing the National Forest are mostly beneficial, but the provision allowing a lawsuit to stop a timber sale after it has been duly approved explains why we now have a forest jammed with dead and dying trees. Will our lawmakers correct this small error, or will this law, which is just a little bit wrong, kill our forest just as completely as d-CON kills mice?


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