citizen of both California
and the planet Earth, I am very concerned. The Draft 2022 Scoping
Plan does not support or facilitate carbon dioxide sequestration
forests, and the need for this is more significant than ever. The
current plan not only removes more carbon but also enhances our
forests' flammability and puts people and property at greater
preferred "NWL alternative 3"
calls for more forest thinning. The "overgrown forests"
narrative, based on flawed, misleading data tainted by timber
industry influence and unsupported by the research of independent
forest ecologists, drives the push for thinning. Other than when
performed within 100 feet of homes and structures for defensible
space or the maintenance of evacuation routes, the harms of
thinning outweigh the benefits. In wildfires, only roughly 3% of
the un-thinned forest burns. In other words, most thinning only
results in more greenhouse gas emissions than would be created by
Further, the best available data
indicates that fuel reduction does not reduce fire intensity and
harms forest resiliency.
should de-emphasize thinning. Also, logging techniques that
dense young flammable stands of trees should be discouraged.
management practices should support carbon storage rather than
detract from it by:
- Increasing the length
of plantation rotation cycles in previously-established industrial
- Banning even-aged
logging practices such as clearcutting. It accelerates
climate change, increases wildfire risk, despoils water supplies,
destroys habitats, and contributes to environmental
- Eliminating salvage
logging. Dead (snag) trees store carbon for decades, retain
moisture, and promote biodiversity.
- Retaining more mature
trees that are superstars of carbon sequestration.
Lastly, electric utilities should
be required to insulate or underground the bare wires that have
caused so many wildfire catastrophes in recent years rather than
removing adjacent trees that could be sequestering and storing
summary, many existing forest
management practices, our current ways of responding to fire, and
our antiquated utility equipment increase carbon dioxide and
further endanger us all. Instead, California should protect intact
and mature biodiverse forests, stop unnecessary and harmful
thinning of forests, prohibit salvage logging, ban the most
logging practices and decry the removal of trees by electric
utilities. California should promote forest management practices
that sequester more carbon to protect ourselves and our planet