Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The horrendous Lake County fire and the Mendocino Redwood Company

Right now--as Lake, Sonoma, and Napa counties burn--I believe northern Californians should review an incredibly senseless policy instituted by the forest management company responsible for 438,000 square miles of forest mostly in Mendocino County, in order to prevent future disasters. A Santa Rosa Press Democrat article from last spring was entitled 'Fire officials decry timber management procedure as unsafe' (Glenda Anderson - The Press Democrat - April 19, 2015). The article pointed out how local fire authorities strongly considered the "hack and squirt" practice of the Mendocino Redwood Company as unsafe. 

The company has slashed millions of unwanted nut oak trees and squirted chemicals into the gashes in order to kills them. Then they have just left all those dead trees standing. They have vehemently defended this policy as "safe"... insisting for years that leaving the dead trees is "good for the forest" (their words) in sessions of the local county board of supervisors. Now that this nightmare has unfolded, I believe it's time to utilize the arm of the law to compel them to fix the land that they have made so unsafe.

The primary owner of the Mendocino Redwood and Humboldt Redwood Companies is the Fisher family of San Francisco, which also owns The Gap, and whom owns an environmental tax write-off foundation called Pisces. This still-ongoing fire is one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of this area, if not the worst. This foundation appears to be more interested in United Nations initiatives, such as Agenda 21. Why can't we just take care of our own country? How about just making the land they are responsible for safe? 

They've made it very clear that cutting and hauling away the dead trees is too expensive, and they have killed a staggering number of trees since 2001. Ignoring the urging of fire officials, sacrificing safety for money, may lead to a future tragedy unless something is done. What's more important, public safety or the Fisher family's profit margins??



Zachary Jackson said...

The Valley Fire was primarily in Lake County, where Mendocino Redwood Company(MRC) does not operate. MRC is in the market of reproducing redwood timberland and manufacturing redwood lumber. Hack and squirt has nothing to do with the Valley Fire. The Valley Fire blew up in a day because we no longer log that area, mostly because there is no mill nearby to make it a profitable operation. Too much unchecked(unlogged) growth leads to fuel loading. If you want to rant about something, first be informed, and then find an issue that needs ranting about, such as the State firefighting budget and lack of thinning operations in Lake County or how to be proactive with the environment.

Camunlynx said...

Did you even read this? It never mentioned this policy as being the "cause" of the Lake County fire, nor did it have anything to do with the larger intrinsic issues of tree management or logging. It was only about the hazard of a widespread policy of just leaving a massive number of dead trees standing; this according to fire authorities.

Zachary Jackson said...

Insinuating that I did not read the article is childish. The post contained two topics, that of the Valley Fire and of MRC's forest management policies. It is not fair to say there is a separation of the two in this post, as the first paragraph mentions stopping a policy to stop future disasters as the large fire. The Valley Fire consumed primarily live trees, and introducing dead trees coupled with the fire is a little void of common sense, as they are two completely different situations with vastly different biota. Calling the gentleman a "fire authority" is poorly worded, as he is merely a minute volunteer fire department's chief. He is not a fire ecologist/forester etc. What I was trying to get at was the notion that large fires are not connected with management practices, but the lack of management practices. I challenge you to think subjectively into the future. If there is not a huge fuel load of tanaok occupying the landscape, we will not lose our most valuable resource, sustainable timber, to fire events.

Camunlynx said...

More important than semantics is the real question: Either keep dead trees standing or cut and haul them away. It's pretty simple. I don't think anyone needs any special title or training to have an opinion. So to clarify, if need be, it's that "part" of the policy that was in question. How about "slash, squirt, cut, and haul away"?