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October 3, 2018     Feather River Bulletin
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October 3, 2018
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 11B OPINION finally enough of WI-mR I STAND KEITH CRUMMER REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL FORESTER #310 My background is: 33 years of wildfire suppression experience, a degree in Forestry from Cal Berkeley where my studies included fire science and forest ecology with post graduate studies in forest ecology, 31 years with the U.S. Forest Service where I ended my career as Ecosystem Manager on the Lassen National Forest. There my responsibilities included the Fire Management organization. I also rose through the ranks from fire crewman to Incident Commander. Later in life, Dale Knutsen and I developed a Feather River College short course in local forest ecology and wrote a textbook, "The Dynamic Forest." The most basic lesson of wildfires that I learned was the "Fire Triangle." This shows that only three things are necessary for fire to burn: oxygen, fuel and ignition. A second "Fire Triangle" lists three factors which influence how a wild land fire burns: fuel, weather and terrain. It is obvious that only one of these factors is within our direct control and that is the wild land fuels. This is also the factor which politics and disinformation has removed from our control. Our emotionally sincere, but scientifically ignorant, California population has been duped into thinking that the lush forests we see around us are "natural." But they are far from the open pine forests of the Sierra Nevada that John Muir described over 100 years gg0. T~e c.tp~9~.tCl ~. ~ ~, :, forests are a functi0n 0f our European lifestyle which includes fLxed ownership of land and permanent, combustible homes. If one owner raised wheat while his neighbor's land was forested, the fire necessary to maintain the forest would be prevented, as a hazard to his neighbor's crop. Since the last glaciation, some 10,000 years ago, frequent fires swept through our forests cleaning up the ground fuels. These fires were ignited by lightning or, more frequently, by the native peoples to manage the vegetation necessary to maintain their way of life. These light fires occurred whenever there was sufficient ground fuels to carry a fire. Here in Northern California, this allowed the groundcover of grasses, bushes and flowers, which John Muir chronicled, to flourish along with the animals which depended on these for their habitat. The forests which greeted the explorers contained only about 1/10th, or less, the number of trees per acre than those characterizing the dense forests of today. These "new" forests are different in species composition as well. The fire resistant open pine forests are being replaced by an understory of mostly fir and incense cedar reproduction. These species are more densely crowned than the pines and flourish in their light shade. The pines, however, cannot receive enough light to reproduce in the deep shade of these more invasive species. A characteristic of these "shade tolerant" trees is that they maintain their lower limbs much longer and lower than do the pines. This highly flammable "understory" forms a "fuel ladder':which reaches from the forest floor to the tops of the highest "overstory" trees. Thus the frequent low "ground fires" of the ancient forests have been replaced by the catastrophic infernos of today which consume both the dense forests and the homes within and adjacent to them. Wildlife and fish habitats are decimated as well. Another obvious adverse effect of these dense forests is that with 10+ times more trees comes the need for more water to supply them. The problem is that less rain and snow is able to reach the forest floor because the overly dense, multi-layered canopies trap both types of moisture. That is why folks run under trees when a shower comes, Until saturation is reached, much needed moisture is trapped within the forest canopy leaving little to reach the floor. I did a simple test at my own home near the west shore of Lake Almanor. I placed moisture catchments under a multi-layered forest, the kind most desired by "environmentalists," and under the open sky. After a year of recording I discovered, in this limited test in this small area, that the dense forest canopy absorbed 37 percent of the moisture which then evaporated, in the case of rain, or sublimated, in the case of snow. It was a dryer than normal year, however. This indicates that in most years our forests are under severe moisture stress. No wonder we are having the increasing bark beetle outbreaks. These reactions to forest stress are entirely predictable, also. To us with scientific understanding and physical experience, the inevitability of these catastrophes is entirely predictable. We just don't know when, where or how the ignitions will occur. The release of these massive amounts of energy, which has often accumulated for 100+ years, creates unexpected reactions. Witness the unprecedented, massive "fire tornado" in the recent Carr Fire west of Redding. Another unfortunate truism is that the 2nd forest fire is always worse than the first. An example is the Chips Fire which followed the Storrie Fire several years later. The Storrie Fire burned in the Feather River Canyon in the summer of 2000. It burned a steep south-facing slope and, aided by up-canyon winds, consumed 21,000 acres of both National Forest and private timber lands. The managers of the private forest lands quickly removed the fire-killed trees and utilized the wood for lumber and other forest lands quickly removed the fire-killed trees and utilized the wood for lumber and other forest products. The leftover debris was cleaned up and the lands quickly reforested with a variety of species. Now their lands are again forested with some 30-foot high, healthy trees. Brush and grass species have invaded the openings providing habitat diversity. The Almanor District, where the fire burned, tried to follow suit but, being a federal agency, were blocked by litigation from the "environmental industry." It is no trick to delay action a few years until the once salvageable timber has lost its value through insect and decay activity. What could have brought funds to us and the Forest Service to cover cleanup and forest restoration costs have been lost, plus the cost of litigation. A convenient law passed by our Congress allows for the cost of litigation to be covered by your tax money, even for these litigants, the "environmental industry." Now our lands are covered by brush, dead standing trees and downed logs. The stark interface between your LETTERS, from page lOB LaMalfa's responses could get applause from one side, but moans and groans from the other. One example: he opposes a government run, single-payer system, favors more competition and more choices in health care, and described the ACA as un-American. Assuming that the "gig economy" continues to expand, that "downsizing" still happens, and that workers temporarily lose health insurance coverage when changing jobs; how does he expect health care providers to compete and to offer more choices, when there would be fewer people affording health insurance packages? Congressman LaMalfa made sure to mention the Quincy Library Group and the efforts to restore forest health, but I suspect he intentionally omitted the full name: Herger-Feinstein, Quincy Library Group, Forest Recovery Act. I also fmd it troubling that he staunchly advocates for more and better roads through the forests. Yes, improving and expanding the forest road system would enable quicker access for emergency vehicles and roads do come in handy as firebreaks. The downside is the potential for more forest traffic to result in more fire starts. Gene Nielsen Crescent Mills Doug LaMalfa -- Not One of Us During his tenure, Congressional Representative Doug LaMalfa has failed to improve economic growth or promote public interests in our district. A proponent of Citizens United, LaMalfa supports big business over the interests of the middle class nearly I00 percent of the time (politicsthatwork.com). He has opposed bills, which would improve transparency in government and campaign funding. His family has accepted more than $5,000,000 in farming subsidies, but LaMalfa considers Social Security an entitlement and wants it privatized and Medicare cut. He has also voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured. The AFL-CIO rates LaMalfa ' at 12 percent based on his lack of support for working families. He opposed improving workplace safety regulations and increasing the minimum wage to keep many working families above poverty level. Women's equality in the U.S. is ranked 49th in the world. Planned Parenthood and Population Connection gave LaMalfa a 0 percent rating on women's health issues and reproductive rights. He has voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and "Equal Pay" legislation. LaMalfa has been awarded a 1 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. He has opposed EPA regulations, which require that permits be issued prior to a business discharging illegal levels of pesticides into lakes and rivers and expanding EPA protection to more waterways. LaMalfa doesn't support working families, women, environmental protection, government transparency and believes corporations are people. The Humane Society of the United States gave him a 17 percent rating on humane issues. Apparently he doesn't advocate for humane treatment of animals, either. LaMalfa has defended the racist rhetoric of Trump and has voted in support of Trump policies 97 percent of the time. Whom is LaMalfa supportin~ Certainly not us. District I needs new representation -- someone who fights for us, not "Big Ag" and corporations. Faith Strailey Quincy LaMalfa's votes In looking at the voting record 6f Doug LaMalfa, I found that he sfipports the wealthy and big business, a hawkish foreign policy, taxing the middle class and run-away military spending. He opposes consumer protection, funding for education, environmental protection, financial regulations, public health, foreign and humanitarian aid, humane immigration policies, labor rights and wages, lgbt rights, poverty programs, racial equality, taxing the wealthy, the Russian-Trump investigation, decent safety-net programs and women's rights -- even the protection of the most extreme abuses. Consider this, while LaMalfa voted to raise our taxes but decrease the taxes of those who can well afford to pay much more, he voted to cut the social justice safety nets for which our taxes should be used; and, at the same time, he continues to receive millions of dollars in government subsidies paid for by our taxes. I see LaMalfa's politics as social injustice. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Scary time This is a very scary time in America. You can accuse someone of a despicable act without proof of a specific time, place or actual witnesses and then find them guilty before ever hearing the charge by the accuser. This is something that should frighten every American, even Social Democrats, liberals and progressives. We the "People" are at odds with each other. It's a cultural war rooted in an anti-spiritual battle of atheistic, evolutionary, secular humanism, with some Marxism mixed in for flavor. The reverent side believes in the National Anthem, apple pie, God, freedom, and the exceptionalism of the American experiment. A first in mankind's history. The left is not the sort of culture that does its own physical fighting other than hiring some rouge thugs. The left fights by inhabiting cultural institutions, subverting the culture with its own mandates. The educational and entertainment institutions were their real victories in subverting the traditional American culture. The right on the other hand doesn't fight at all. Many are complacent, satisfied with what they have and try to ignore the raw paganism and morally bankrupt culture the left has successfully inserted into the mainstream media. Tribalism is the new American norm. Gender, sexual orientation, religion, race and ethnicity are now essential, not incidental, to who we are. The last few elections added to the growing abyss. The old Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton is now trending into a radical democratic socialist party. Meanwhile, the old Republican Party is mostly gone, replaced by tea party movements and the new Donald Trump base. The real silver lining of today's environment is the drawing out of the "left" for all those in the mushy middle to see. The protagonist Trump continually pushes their sensitive buttons, which drives them into a rage. Nice huh? Trent Saxton Lake Davis National Forest lands and the reforested private lands is termed by Forest Service foresters as "the wall of shame." On July 20, 2012, at 1:57 a.m a campfire along the Pacific Crest Trail in the Chips Creek drainage, escaped along with the hiker. This was on your National Forest lands near the middle of the old un-restored Storrie Fire. The steep canyon wall is topped by Soda Ridge where the massive buildup of forest fuels left from the Storrie Fire awaited those midnight flames. Because of the forest of standing dead trees (snags) sticking out of the post-fire brush field and the jack straw of logs on the ground it would be suicide for fire-fighting crews, or even tractor operators, to attack this holocaust. The only alternative available was aerial attack. With an up-canyon wind the wind the head of the fire was covered by smoke, a normal occurrence. The aerial attack was therefore precluded by loss of sight distance between aircraft. That left waiting for the new fire to burn through the old and into the unburned forest before a direct ground attack was safely possible. By then the flame front was over a mile wide, which again is normal for a re-burn fire. The Chips fire burned for an additional month and covered over 55 thousand acres of National Forest and private lands. This was far larger than it would have been had the fuels generated by the Storrie Fire been cleaned up. The fire-killed trees could have been harvested, while still utilizable for fuel and lumber. The USFS tried to clean up and reforest our land, the same as had been done on the private timber lands, but were delayed by appeals from the "environmental Industry" until the time of opportunity had past. The fire killed trees were rotten and brush had spread over the burned land precluding effective reforestation. Unfortunately, this will be the same scenario for this year's Carr, Herz and Delta fire areas should dead fuels removal and forest restoration efforts not be undertaken. So far the 2018 fire season has resulted in the loss of 336,000 acres (525 square miles!) of once forested land including 1,100 homes and businesses and 8 lives, in the Redding area alone. At the same time nearly 1/2 million acres were on fire in the nearby Mendocino Complex Fire, mostly on your Mendocino National Forest lands. Support the political leaders who wish to restore common sense, our forests and surrounding communities, before the second inevitable fire. Continued ignorance will allow this scenario to become the unnecessary "new normal." Do we know where to send yourballot?, I STAND you last received a ballot in the mail, you can call us at KATHY WILLIAMS 283-6256 or 844-676-VOTE. PLUMAS COUNTY CLERK We're here to make sure you /REGISTRAR OF VOTERSreceive your ballot no matter The season is changing!where you are. We're in autumn in beautiful Ballots will be mailed Plnmas County. We have beginning the second week of many things to look forward October so we need your to -- the changing colors, address changes today! If crisp weather, finding an you've had any changes with official ballot in yourDMV, you can contact our mailbox Yes, it's that time! office to make sure you're If you haven't moved, or registered to vote with the opened or closed a post office correct information. box then you will be able to We encourage you to vote pick up your ballot along your ballot and mall it back with your other mail. If you EARLY. have had any changes inThis will assure that your your address or you will be ballot will be among the first away in October, we can still counted and results for local get your ballot to you. Often measures will not be delayed. when voters put in a change Ballots dropped off at a post of address card with the post office after the final mail office, they assume it covers truck has left will miss the every piece of mail. It does postmark requirement to not. have your ballot counted. Official Vote by Mail Mail your ballot prior to ballots are not forwardable. If Election Day to be sure we you've had any changes since receive it in time! Contact your elected officials PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can be e-mailed from links on the county website: countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Donald J. Trump, 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 Fe'mstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710. Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR- Kamala Harris (D). www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator. 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224- 3553/Fax: 202-224-2200. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1st DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 322 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. www.LaMalfa J-louse.gov.; Facebook.com/Repl.aMalfa; twitter: @RepLaMalfa. DISTRICT OFFICE: 2862 Olive Hwy, Suite D, Oroville, CA 95965, (530) 534-7100, FAX (530) 534-7800. STATE SENATOR lst DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (9 t 6) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center: 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, E1 Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234. Redding Constituent Service Center: 1670 Market St Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225-3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMI}LYMAN, 1st DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Suite 2158, Sacramento, CA 94249-00001, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office: 280 Hemsted Dr Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/(916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3150.