Sierra Club organizer, Marily Woodhouse, is mobilizing volunteers against clearcutting
Marily Woodhouse knows first hand the destruction of clearcutting. Living in the foothills of Mt. Lassen, her quiet, little-used road suddenly became a logging truck superhighway with truckload after truckload of trees being hauled away from Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) clearcuts. She told us, "What is being done a few miles from where I live is a microcosm of what is being done all over the northern part of the state. It is deforestation as surely as what has been done to rainforests in other parts of the world. The difference is that it is right here in our state instead of thousands of miles away. These archaic and unsustainable logging practices must be stopped. The only way to do that is for 'we the people' to act to make it so."
Sierra Pacific Industries is in the process of clearcutting 1.7 million acres of their holdings in the Sierra Nevada.
Marily has been hired with contributions of five California Sierra Club chapters, including the Ventana Chapter, to enlist and coordinate volunteers in a campaign to end clearcutting in the Sierra Nevada.
Many people are not aware that although clearcutting on National Forests in the Sierra has mostly been abandoned, on vast private forestlands it is still the dominant timber harvesting method. SPI is by far the worst offender. The company is in the process of clearcutting and turning into tree plantations over 1.7 million acres of their holdings in the Sierra Nevada. To stop the onslaught, the Sierra Club has partnered with ForestEthics in a campaign aimed at building sufficient public outrage at this logging practice that demand will build for wood products that are not produced by destroying our forests.
Our partnership with ForestEthics will be a marriage of strengths. While we have many members to call upon to help defend the Sierra, we will be taking advantage of the tried and true approaches that ForestEthics developed which stopped the production of Victoria's Secret catalogs from Canada's boreal forests and convinced Staples that it was not in their economic interests to market products made from old-growth forests.
The key to this campaign will be to draw the public's attention to the horrific effects of clearcutting, including the loss of beauty and wildlife habitat, the erosion and the sedimentation, and the poisoning of soil and streams with toxic herbicides. Healthy forests provide 60% of California's water supply and sequester carbon to help combat global warming. Public pressure can force Sierra Pacific Industries to change their timber harvesting practices.
For this ambitious effort to succeed, we need many volunteers, members who truly care enough about the Sierra to step up and take action. If you would like to learn more, or to sign up to help, Marily can be reached at 530-474-5803 or . More about ForestEthics and the Save the Sierra Campaign can be found at: www.savethesierra.org.