Welcome to the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club!
We encompass eleven local Sierra Club groups in twenty-four counties in Northern & Central California
When Governor Brown traveled to Echo Summit on April 1 to announce the first mandatory water cutbacks in the state's history, he traveled through a Sierra watershed denuded by clearcuts like the one pictured above. During the press conference, he measured the Sierra snowpack at 5% of normal and said, "This historic drought demands unprecedented action ... as Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible." Yet why does the state continue to allow extensive clearcutting throughout our headwaters forests, exposing the precious snowpack to evaporation and rapid, early runoff?
Water that should trickle down through the forests to fill our reservoirs and supply water to our homes, farms and businesses throughout the dry months is instead being squandered. Clearcutting scrapes the land bare of trees, compacts and dries out the spongelike living soil, and uses toxic herbicides to grow a commercial tree crop. Despite harmful impacts to water, wildlife and the climate, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) approves on average 65,000 acres of clearcut and other plantation-forestry logging plans filed annually by a few private timber companies.
Our government claimed fracking is safe, now our groundwater aquifers are contaminated. At a time when protecting our water sources should be the state's top priority, clearcutting is turning our forested watersheds into a patchwork of deserts. This is a disaster in the making as seen by the Google map satellite image of Sierra clearcuts below.
In the words of the late environmental hero David Brower, our forests need CPR – "conservation, preservation and restoration." Not more destructive clearcutting and toxic tree farming.
Don't let our water supply be trashed by irresponsible logging and private tree farm profits at the public's expense. California can't afford more clearcutting. Please sign our updated petition and share widely. Help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures.
TELL GOV. BROWN: PROTECT OUR WATER RESOURCES. STOP CLEARCUTTING CALIFORNIA'S FORESTS!
Deforestation is the fourth largest contributor to climate change. Clearcutting both reduces the amount of carbon forests can retain, and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Every clearcut is like a puncture in our planet's lungs.
That's why forest defenders are lining up to demand that the state's Forest Carbon Plan counts the carbon loss due to clearcutting and recommend selective logging as a less ecologically harmful method of meeting our demand for wood products.
The science is clear: older, maturing trees suck and store carbon better than tree plantations and the wood products they produce. Go figure! Real forests win again! Read More: Hot Air: Myths and Facts about Climate Change and Forests
WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Letters to the editor are an effective way to alert the public that our forests – and the water, wildlife, and climate they sustain - are being threatened by destructive clearcutting and factory tree farming.
Please contact sue.lynn403[at]gmail.com if you are interested in writing letters like this one by Bob Moncrieff published in the San Jose Mercury News:
To the Editor:
The article on ground water management, (3-14-14, Pg A-15), is quite comprehensive. But not mentioned is the ground water stored by nature in the extensive forested watersheds of the North Coast and Sierra Nevada. Much of the rain and snow for our state falls on those forests, which have for centuries been absorbing that water in the root-laced soil of the earth beneath. That unique system costs us nothing, but is now threatened by the industrial timber harvest called clearcutting, the removal of most tree cover in multiple 20-acre tracts to prepare for future profits from tree farms. Thus the first line of water preservation is at once ruined, along with the homes of animals, and the magical ability of trees to store carbon as CO2. Let's replace clear-cutting with responsible, sustainable tree harvest, or corporate greed will destroy yet another California treasure.
Respectfully, Bob Moncrieff, Monte Sereno, CA
We need your support!
Sierra Club Stop Clearcutting California Campaign
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