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r Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Proper forest management will help water ,needs WHEKE I STAND Bill Wickman Chairman Plumas Economic Recovery Committee Dear Senators, Representatives and state Representatives: The Plumas County Economic Recovery Committee would Uke to take this opportu- nity to encourage you to broad- en the Scope of the issue that you are all struggling with at this time. That issue is the sup- ply of water to all of your agri- cultural areas as well as the Delta. PCERC was formed to address the existing and increasing economic impacts associated with the lack of proper vegetative management of our national forests. Of greatest concern isthe issue related to the growing need to thin our forests to assist in the reduction of cata- strophic wildf'wes as well as maintain our wildlife, water- shed and recreational values so important to Plumas County. Plumas County has felt the same unemployment issues that many of your districts have but from a different agri- cultural perspective. Our agricultural issues center on the proper treatment of our forests and the benefiting ecosystem related to that treatment. You are all well aware that the state of California has a large forested land base that is controlled by the federal government and managed by the Forest Service. Over the last 10-15 years sound management on these lands has fallen to the wayside. As a result, we have seen an increased loss of our state's valuable watersheds. Recently, the state has endured some of the worst fire seasons in recorded histo- ry. The 2003 fire season set a new record in acres burned, which was to be broken only four years later in 2007. Furthermore, a new 75-year national record was set by the 2006 fu'e season. During the summer of 2007, while most of Northern California was enveloped in a smoke cloud from mid-June to the beginning of August, the northern Sierra Nevada was experiencing the largest fires in its history' Notwithstanding the direct threat to public health and safety, those fires also degrad- ed the watersheds that are the prime source of California's water Supply, In addition to watershed impacts, we are losing many thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. As with the loss of jobs in the agricultural sec- tors of your districts, the loss of these resource values also significantly affects the eco- nomic base for many of those counties, as well as their reliance on recreation and tourism activity. In addition, the decline in the timber industry and the associated infrastructure is at a critical stage and must be maintained to properly treat the national forests and the associated agricultural crop: trees. Why is this important to each of you and the districts that you serve? Plumas County is the location of the Feather River watershed. The Feather River is the key watershed for the State Water Project that delivers approxi- mately 70 percent of the water serving more than 25 million Californians. Because of the increase in acres lost to wildfire, the growing inability of the soils and vegetation to hold back sediment is negatively impacting water quality as well as adding sediment to the Feather River that is impact- ing fisheries and the hydro- electric facilities of PG&E. In addition, these impacts are having a dramatic effect on the ability to deliver the water from the Feather River watershed in an amount that can benefit the timing of delivery as well as amount. This critical issue in Plumas County can assist in the debate of all the issues you are currently discussing. What are some of the impacts of not properly man- aging the national forests? Water quality: We know the devastating effects of large wildfires on our watersheds. The 138,000-acre Hayman Fire on the front range of the Colorado Rockies in the city of Denver's municipal water- shed is a perfect example. The city has been conducting debris removal since the fire occurred, and recently has begun dredging its storage reservoirs. It expects to have about 1 million cubic yards of sediment to be dredged at a cost of $20 million. Water yield: We know our forests are overly dense. We See Forest, page lOB Beyond Copenhagen: Grassroots action is required WHERE I STAND Arnol d Schwarzenegger Governor State of California Last week, leaders from around the world gathered in Copenhagen, in a quest for a global pact to reduce green- house gas emissions and tack- le the single greates t chal- lenge of our time. I joined them to discuss the urgency of their efforts, the economic opportunities we can seize, and the tremen- dous role of sub-national gov- ernments in climate-change mitigation. Some pundits have described Copenhagen as the most important world summit since the end of the Second World War. It has been sug- gested that without a binding international agreement, the fight against climate change is unwinnable. Now, it certainly would be G,(., ......... terrific if the world's govern- ments reached such an agree- ment. But as much as 80 per- cent of the necessary green- house gas reductions will happen at the sub-national level. So why should we focus alLom: faith and hope in international action? Throughout the course of his- tory" all great movements have been born at the gmssroots level. The American independ- ence movement, the civil rights movement and the women's suf- frage movement were all begun by people who did not wait for others. Then they gained momentum and speed and swept throughout our nation. There is a lesson in this when discussing climate change. Even in the absence of national and international commitments, we must not ignore the tremendous move- ment that is already under way to solve our environmen- tal and energy problems. For example, states, provinces and cities have been busy passing their own laws and emission targets. In California, we are imple- menting a law to cut our greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by the year 2020. We approved the world's first low- carbon fuel standard and tailpipe emissions standards, which the Obama administra- tion has now adopted. We have gone out and formed partnerships with other states, provinces and Cities in America, Canada, China, Mexico and Europe. Right now we are working with the United Nations to assist developing countries, especially in Africa. There is a great tectonic shift already under way that is gaining strength every day. Everyone is getting involved, from businesses and entrepre- neurs who are investing bil- lions of dollars into green technology, to ordinary citi- zens who are buying more energy-efficient appliances, conserving water and choos- ing to pursue greener lifestyles on their own. There are so many amazing examples. Right now a foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area is investing in efforts to help upgrade cement factories in China. Rajendra Pachauri, a recipi- ent of the Nobel Peace Prize, has started an initiative to replace kerosene lanterns with solar lights for one bil- lion rural people. Electric utilities are installing millions of square feet of solar panels on ware- house rooftops. Four of the world's largest meat producers have agreed not to buy cattle from defor- ested areas of the Amazon. This movement is about much more than just protect- ing the environment. It is also about seizing an incredible economic opportunity. We can create a new econom- ic foundation for the 21st cen- tury that is built on clean fuels, clean cars and clean energy. Today, California leads the United States with more than !25,000 green jobs. In fact, over the past decade, green jobs in California have grown at nearly triple the rate of total job growth. And it's not just happening in California. Green jobs in Idaho have jumped 126 percent; in Kansas, 51 percent; in New Mexico, 50 percent. Texas, which produces the most wind power of any state, has enjoyed a 16 percent mcrease. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, the Industrial Revolution changed the world and ush- ered in a new era of prosperi- ty. Today, the Green Revolution can do the same. TO make that happen, we need everyone to come togeth- er and sacrifice for the com- mon good, including the envi- ronmental community. Environmentalists must stop letting the perfect become the enemy of the pos- sible. They cannot oppose coal-fired power plants and at the same time block transmis- sion lines for solar fields and wind farms. They cannot oppose safe and controlled off- shore drilling, while also opposing nuclear energy. ff we all work together-- environmentalists, business- es, activists, ordinary citizens and sub-national govern- ments-we can push our nations and the world toward a clean, sustainable future. Regardless of what happens in Copenhagen, we will con- finue pushing ahead toward that future, because we know we must succeed. J; ,- LETTERS to the EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed at ma @p umasnews.com That-is why I respond to Skip Alexander's letter "why, why, why" as an independent citi- zen. 1. The $50 cap essentially kills the hospital project, dra- matically increasing the like- lihood that PDH will join the long list of closed hospitals in California. 2. No one has to tell the hos- pita/ employees hat closure will lead to loss of jobs. They are the people who see every day why the old hospital is inadequate. 3. To suggest that the board thinks insignificantly about our community is ludicrous, and I find it offensive. These are caring people of our com- munity willing to make enor- mous sacrifices for all our benefit. "They" are "us." 4. Hospitals cannot simply borro money, 5. About transparency: Read the PDH Q&A; it is clear and concise. Further, these are complex issues; some of the answers you seek can only be understood from a basis of self-education. That is your job. 7. A new hospital is by far the best way to keep the hospi- tal open. Retrofitting or haft- measures will not work. 8. The cap is not reasonable as you say. It stops a project 13 years in the planning. The cap would put the median home contribution at $7.26 per month. Is that what you con- sider a reasonable amount? Advanced citizens: Learn enough to estimate the actual cost to you if the bonds sold today (6 percent plus or minus 1/4 percent). It is not as much as people are gossip- ing. This is the wrong venue for a tax rebellion. Our money will not go to Washington or Sacramento! It will build a healthy hospi- tal and a healthy community for each and every one of us. That iS why. Greg Kinne Quincy Who pays? I am writing to let Tony Van Hemert know that the health- care reform that is being rammed down the throats of the American people won't help the little kid that he talks about in his letter of last week. For one thing, although the taxes to pay for this would kick in right away, the benefits (if there are any) would not be available for four years. Can the child wait that long? But, more importantly, chil- dren whose parents cannot afford heath insurance today can qualify for Medicaid. And, if the income of the parents is higher than allowed by Medicaid, children can presently be covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program which is funded by federal and state governments. This program was signed into law in The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, while the Republicans con- trolled both the House and the Senate. The vote was divided along party lines with most Democrats opposing it. It's true that this program has Undergone some changes dur- ing its existence but, thanks to Republicans, all children can have health insurance today. As for the "wealthy Republicans" Mr. Van Hemert talks about in his letter, I won- der if he has heard of George Soros, John Edwards, A1 Gore and virtually all of Hollywood. These are definite- ly not Republicans! I'm sure there are wealthy people in all political parties, because America has always been the land of opportunity, and get- ting ahead is the goal of most Americans. The present administration and the Democrat Party seek to make us all dependent on the gove.rnment, and they seem to discourage individual responsibility and the great American spirit. When people are sending their bills to the United States of America as suggested by Mr. Van Hemert, who pays for that? The United States of America is funded by taxpay- ers who can't afford more of this out-of-control spending being done by the Congress. This ' proposed healthcare reform could push our coun- try into bankruptcy, which is something I don't think any of us want to see. Della Myers Greenville Slow down On Tuesday, Dec. 22, some- one hit and killed our beauti- ful golden retriever. The indi- vidual who hit him did not stop to check him nor did they contact us. While we are very heartbro- ken and miss him very much, we are thankful that it was not a child. We have grandchil- dren and great-grandchildren and it could have been one of them. Just think how you would have felt if it had been a child! Please slow down when you are near any houses. The next time it could be someone's child. F. and V. Osborn Greenville Logic and geography I just finished reading M. Kate West's article titled "Shhh...sometimes we need to keep secrets." She comments on CNN reporting on a state- ment from the White House by the Obama Administration authorizing the expansion of the CIA's drone program in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan, called Baluchistan, an area wher.e Afghan tribal leaders and Taliban are believed to be hiding. She compares it to General Eisenhower announcing our impending landing on Omaha Beach, in France during WW II. That is more than a stretch of the imagination. equivalent of Montana and West Virginia combined includ- ing another 135 square miles. Omaha Beach, on the other hand, is only five miles long. Does she think the Taliban hasn't noticed those drones overhead? Does it seem possible and logical, when the White House and CIA released that infor- mation, the Taliban would According to wikipedia,, know exactly where in that Baluchistan compromises 44 134,051 square miles the percent of the landmass of drones would striRe? Pakistan and covers 134,051 I doubt it. That makes as square miles. It is the largest much sense as the Taliban of the four provinces that announcing they were going make up Pakistan. It is the to strike an area of the United States the size of Montana and West Virginia plus 135 square miles, located on inland areas near the West Coast, and we would know exactly where they planned to hit us. Maybe the information released to the public should be left to the administration, the military brass and the CIA, who know a lot more about what is going on, and what is and isn't safe to release. Once again, maybe another geography lesson wouldn't be a bad idea. Marcia Detrick Quincy How to contact your elected officials... PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U,.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841, FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "'feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Bay, CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783- 5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651- 4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quincy, 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103.District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841, FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov / inteact#contact