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Comment 187 for Draft 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan (scopingplan2022) - Non-Reg.

First NameJennifer
Last NameNormoyle
Email Addressjennifernormoyle123@gmail.com
Affiliation
Subject2022 Draft Scope Plan
Comment

As a 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 by 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 risk.

The 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 wildfires.

Further, the best available data indicates that fuel reduction does not reduce fire intensity and harms forest resiliency.

Forest management practices should de-emphasize thinning. Also, logging techniques that produce dense young flammable stands of trees should be discouraged. Forest management practices should support carbon storage rather than detract from it by:

  1. Increasing the length of plantation rotation cycles in previously-established industrial tree farms.
  2. Banning even-aged logging practices such as clearcutting.  It accelerates climate change, increases wildfire risk, despoils water supplies, destroys habitats, and contributes to environmental injustice.
  3. Eliminating salvage logging.  Dead (snag) trees store carbon for decades, retain moisture, and promote biodiversity.
  4. 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 carbon.

 

In 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 harmful 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 better.


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Date and Time Comment Was Submitted 2022-06-24 08:44:17

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