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December 5, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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December 5, 2001
 

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Record, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001 11B I to fLX the Sierra Plan Amend- the USDA Forest Ser- his opportunity r conditions 11 national the Sierra Nevada Now the un- ' for the USDA and Environment his discre- to recon- the chief acknowl- with af- develop spe- "his decision to allow the one-size-fits-all al- ternative "to remain in ef- fect" is not acceptable to members of Congress, who represent people living, working and recreating in the Sierra Nevada. Other alternatives must be reconsidered and a new deci- sion implemented for impor- tant reasons. USDA ofl'mials should not allow a decision to stand that fails to: protect old-growth trees, wildlife habitat and streams from cat- astrophic wildfire; meet air-quality standards; effec- tively utilize renewable small trees and brush for green energy production; and reduce taxpayer expens- es. In the chiefs letter, afl'trm- ing the selection of the Modi- fied Alternative 8, be'indicat- ed that only alternatives 4 and 6 treated more acres for fuels reduction, and that on- ly alternatives 4 and 7 posed no unacceptable levels of risk to aquatic and riparian habitat. Forest Service analyses further confLrmed that Alter- native 4, compared to Modi- fied Alternative 8, produced 67 percent fewer lethal stand-replacing fires; 22 per- cent more late successional, old-growth trees; 41 percent more owl nesting habitat; two-thirds more fuel for en- ergy production; and $105 million more in annual bene- fits back to taxpayers. If Forest Service analyses pointed to alternatives 4, 6, and 7 as the only choices that met their predetermined cri- teria, then why was Modified Alternative 8 selected? My careful critique of the chiefs decision, however, doesn't rest on Forest Service scien- tific analyses alone. It's also my job to ensure that con- gressional mandates are met. As I see it, the Sierra Neva- da Forest Plan Amendment Record of Decision fails to de- crease the number of acres threatened by insects and disease required by the $2.9 billion National Fire Plan. It also fails to reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfLre, re- quired by the Western Gov- ernors' Strategy for Reduc- ing Wildland Fire Risks. Finally, the decision af- firmed by the chief fails to demonstrate compliance with the Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act, the Granite Watershed Enhance- ment and Protection Act, and the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recov- ery Act--which earned bi- partisan sponsorship and was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 429 to 1. Reducing the risk of cata- strophic wildf'u'e requires compliande with laws and regulations previously in place that grant the authori- ty necessary to recruit addi- tional fire fighting person- nel, purchase more fn'e fight- ing equipment and mechani- cally thin the number of we in have been ill- ; plan. were unhappy I a STUDENT It's not just a feeling. A feeling hope and wish have. A feeling hold close to trees in overstocked stands. There is absolutely no way of getting around the fact that timber harvesting is part of the solution for restoring healthy forest conditions. Although Sierra Nevada national forest lands grow 2 billion board feet of timber annually, they lose about 500 million board feet to annual mortality. Modified Alterna- tive 8 allows for removing about 190 million board feet of timber, less than one-half of total annual mortality. Al- ternative 4, by comparison, allows for the removal of about 500 million board feet of timber--less than one quarter of total growth. Under any alternative, nearly all timber removed would be the result of thin- ning smaller trees to help protect forests from future wilclftres or to restore forests already damaged from past catastrophic wildfires. However, powerful, well-funded, anti-forestry en- vironmental activists tell me that all timber harvesting should be eliminated from national forest lands--even the removal of dead trees. Well, I don't agree! As a member of Congress, my job is not to fulfill special interests, but to fulfill dis- trict, state, and national in- terests. I was elected to fred ways to meet all needs on fed- eral forest lands. There are reams of scientific analyses and volumes of statutory law that conf m that the goal can be achieved on National Forest System Lands desig- nated for multiple-use in the Sierra Nevada. I want to help connect people with the envi- ronment, not separate them from it. I am urging USDA officials to urgently remand the chiefs decision and reconsid- er other alternatives so that all important needs can be fulfilled by our national forests. m Q 1 *.~M-- ...,, . 4 when the Plumas County su- responsive and responsiblein health care. By workingof familiarizing himself with and our problems. Will his pervisorial districts were re- representative. Although we with the Congressional Rural the huge 2nd District in all successor make a similar aligned, but there's a much in the AARP and the Com- Caucus, a nonpartisan coali- its complexities. Aside from commitment? We should de- bigger headache awaiting us mission on Aging often came tion of representatives from his scheduled "Townhall". mand it! because of what the Califor- from different sides of an is- hundreds of rural districts, meetings, he was in PlumasPlumas and Lassen coun- nia Legislature did. sue, whenever possible, he hoped to use that leverage County with surprising fre- ties will still be a part of the For many years, Plumas Herger tried to find common to increase Medicare and quency. 2nd Congressional District and Lassen counties have ground. When there were Medicaid (MediCal) reim- When the Eastern Plumas until the new Congress is been well represented by wide differences, at least we bursements, when Herger Health Care District dedicat- sworn in, sometime in De- Wally Herger in Congres- could count on him to listen, put his name alongside that ed its hospital's new wing, he cember 2002. A year is not sional District 2. But when And when Herger was un- of Senator Diane Feinsteinmade it to Portola. And a few very long te get things ac- the March 2002 primary rolls available, his able staff was on the Quincy Library weeks ago, he was in Chester complished in Washington, around, we will fred our- ready and willing to respond. Group's forestry plan, he to honor the anniversary of D.C., but I have a list of prior- selves in the 3rd Congres- The last time we spoke, the showed that he could put Sierra Hospice. Brief appear- ities that will be on Herger's sional District, a seat now oc- congressman impressed us aside partisan politics for the ances, to be sure, but over desk, along with thanks for cupied by John Doolittle. with his commitment to rut- greater good. the years these opportunities what he has done so far. Wally Herger has been a al issues, especially the crisis Wally Herger made a point have helped him to know us Ordinary Americans-- fire fighters, doctors, school children, and everyone else--extended the arm of freedom and reached out to help. On that day ancl the days following, freedom flourished. Everywhere you went, you saw evidence of freedom: flags flapping proudly in the breeze, people donning the colors red, white and blue, and wearing remembrance ribbons. This, yes this, was America's proudest moment. their hearts. Americans are blessed to have the privilege of living every day of their lives in a free country. .. Free 0nl is not buildings. On Sept. 11, when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Centers and the Penta- gon, they did not destroy our sense of freedom. They actu- ally made it grow and well up inside of us. In the wake of this tragedy, thje whole world saw what a beautiful, wonderful feeling freedom is. Freedom is the unifying force between all Americans. It is the core of everything our country is built on. The first settlers came here for freedom, and people are still coming here for the same reason. We have fought for our freedom since the days of our founding fathers. From the revolutionary war to the one we're fighting now in Afghanistan, we have al- ways fought for one reason-- not revenge, not glory--free- dom. For both ourselves and The poll, which ran at plumas- news.com from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, asked site visitors to weigh in on the subject. The poll was not sci- entifically conducted. Rather, site visitors were asked to state their opinion on the topic, which has caused some controversy. There is no way to verify whether the poll actually reflects community opinion. The poll showed that 35 per- cent of residents do not want the More than a third of Plumas County residents oppose the adoption by the board of super- visors of a new antialcohol poli- cy. For the most part, residents simply were not too crazy about it. An Internet poll was conduct- ed to assess public opinion about a proposed plan that would prohibit county workers from driving for four hours af- ter drinking alcohol. ing, or wonder at the way it Was. How typical! I thought. We always cut, slash, burn, bull- doze, drill, excavate, quarry, divert and dam. Dam, but we're busy buggers! Michael James Sonoma Tax o jmtag? While following the ex- change of "Letters to the Edi- tor" relating to the Seneca Healthcare District Board, administration and financial issues, my concern has ele- vated from distress to indig- nation. I'm referring to the recent public berating re- ceived by John Schumacher from the Measure S opposi- tion. Whether or not you agree with Mr. Schumacher's vari- ous views or his support of Measure S, he has been vili- fied by the opposition's re- sponse. Accusations such as "hateful scare mongering," "incoherent rambling," "con- fused and garbled patriotic sentiments," and "childish" are needless! The denouncements went so far as to criticize "his in- others in need. saying the pledge, singing Countless men and women the national anthem, dis- have given UP their lives for play.rag the flag, and small looked like detailed drawings in black ink. must contain an ad- Looking up Main Street number. We through the falling flakes, in- letter per week, creasing]y visible as the light and only one letter grew, I was struck for the Per month regarding first time by its beauty, by ect. We do not the symmetry and simplicity or open let- of its parallel lines, sur- be limited to a mounted at the end by the words. Any let- rising arch of the bridge. Qui- 300 words will beet. No motion. A car driving The deadline is by made less sound than my D.m. Letters may be boots crunching in the snow. of Feather Publish- The world was noiseless, sent via fax to 283- still, clean, tidy, odorless as if e-mailed at it had been created as a feast for the senses. And it wasn't even cold! snow But I was hungry and in Chester turned inside to eat. Saturday morn- When I went back out, all and looked out- had changed. Diesel fumes Were treated to a drifted from noisy plows world, one making hills and ridges of |ttered lots and dirty snow and exposing been kindly black tarmac. Colorfully clad with a foot of people were scraping their The varied vehicles and digging them nfform; the fur- out, while others spun back of streets were wheels, trying to drive over level with side- the mounds they'd made. [sc. J front yards; cars Man, the ant, intent on [ hummocks, and changing his world to suit his tB#P bare trees were imagined needs, hardly White so that they paused to glance at it in pass- our country and our free- things, like voting, show dom, the twp thingsAmer - your support also. cans hold closest to our , Fr iedom is one of the hearts. They've rushed into things that makes our coun- battle not thinking of them- try great and respected. It's selves, having only our something Americans will country, their country on never forsake. The idea, the their minds and in their feeling of freedom, it costs hearts, lives, hopes, dreams and You don't have to fight to time. Freedom is not free. show your appreciation for Why? Someone, everyone, al- our country and for our free- ways has to pay for it. dom. Simpler things, like plan to be adopted. In contrast, 25 percent favor its adoption. Fifteen percent think it should be revised because it's a political solution to a nonpoliti- cal issue. Another 15 percent want it to be revised, this time with the input of employees. Meanwhile, 10 percent think the plan should be revised be- cause it appears arbitrary. cessant use of adjectives." The last time I checked, Hal- loween was, and still is, a noun! What's the real issue here, tax or syntax? These people are so far over the top; there must be some hidden motivation for their tongue lashing of anyone who writes in opposition to their views. I've asked the question, "If they have all the solutions, why don't they run for the board?" The response is sim- ple. The opposition has, in fact, run for the board, only to be rejected by the same electorate that defeated Mea- sure S. Speak of irony. Per- haps the electorate is fearful on both accounts. I shudder at the thought of the potential for an elected representative who utters such front-page commentary as, "This place will crash and burn until the problem is corrected." How's that for "throwing out the ba- by with the bath watei-?." It's this voter's opinion that the "Letters" forum is being abused. I suggest to all parties that some thought be given toward conducting yourselves with a little digni- ty. Should emergency on-call pay be reduced for probation officers, social workers and others? plumasnews.com 1 A response is inevitable. Now is your opportunity to rise to a level of deference! For you readers that agree with this writer's view, don't be intimidated, please jot the word "Ditto" on a postcard to the editor. Thank you! John Fullerton, LACC Lake Almanor I mm mb Last night, as I listened to a musical program at the Seneca long-term care facili- ty, made possible by dedicat- ed people driving through the storm. I realized how fortu- nate we are to have so many caring people in the Chester, Westwood and Lake Almanor areas, helping to make Seneca a wonderful, caring hospital. My thoughts go back to the time we did not have a hospi- tal in Chester. Westwood was the nearest hospital. Collins Pine donated the land and cleared the area for the new hospital. Also, they furnished some material and donations. Dr. Greenman and Dr. Levin were wonderful in their sup- port in every phase of the construction and furnishing of the hospital. I am one of the 62 percent who paid the $125 tax to the hospital. I owe the people who work there much more. I have been a visitor or pa- tient at the hospital for the past 340 consecutive days, so I know the dedicated people who give and furnish the lov- ing care there. I will do all I can to help the hospital and community. Albert (Curly) GUnes Chester Don't sit bac/ and let others do the talking for you. Express yourself in our Letters to the Editor.