Logging on the Skids
After nine years of political battles and scientific studies, the U.S. Forest Service this week released a broad management plan for California’s Sierra Nevada range that would emphasize wildlife protection and recreation over commercial logging. The proposal for managing 11 million acres of national forests would cut cattle grazing, protect most big old-growth trees, and reduce timber harvests. “We’re leaning toward wildlife here. The days of large-scale timber production and clear cuts are over,” said Forest Service spokesperson Matt Mathes. Still, environmental groups believe logging levels should be cut even further. The public has 90 days to comment on the plan, which includes two different proposals for logging levels, one significantly lower than the other.