In Northern California, our forests have the potential to benefit us or destroy us. Our forests currently are in a state of crisis. Instead of providing us with necessary natural, social, and economic resources, they have become a public safety hazard. Unfortunately, we can expect to see increased extreme weather conditions that continue to spark catastrophic fires, threaten our communities and claim lives. If we use scientific practices to manage our forests back to their natural state of health – we turn that threat into the center of our environmental and economic prosperity.
When we manage our forests to protect and restore our watershed ecosystems – we achieve a multitude of benefits. Recharged groundwater, improved water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, valuable timber, livestock forage, and other forest by-products. Forest restoration and management provides quality jobs to local people and boosts our rural economy. I would strongly advocate for focused federal funding and streamlined oversight and for local experts to be involved in managing our forests for multiple uses, including sustainable logging, wildlife, tourism, recreation, and rural jobs.
Deadwood or thinned trees removed from forests if left alone would release greenhouse gasses during natural decomposition or a forest fire. By using these low-quality timber products in innovative industrial uses, we can reduce the damaging impact of this natural carbon release, and can create a valuable input to help our rural economies thrive.