Thinning on the Angeles National Forest

Le Messurier dlemessurier at
Fri Feb 20 14:41:29 EST 2004

lhfotoware at (Larry Harrell) wrote in message news:<7a90c754.0402200639.205fba54 at>...
> Wednesday, February 18, 2004  Daily Press
> Big Pines, Wrightwood to be thinned
> U.S. Forest Service plans to remove dead and dying trees to avert
> wildfires
> By NIKKI COBB/Staff Writer
> WRIGHTWOOD &#8212; The U.S. Forest Service wants to thin out nearly
> 1,000 acres of Angeles National Forest to avoid another devastating
> wildfire like last year's blazes in the nearby mountains.
> Officials plan to cut down dead and dying trees &#8212; killed by
> crowding, drought and insects &#8212; along Big Pines Highway and the
> Mountain High Resort and Ski Sunrise areas.
> A much larger area of forest is targeted for thinning around
> Wrightwood, but details of that plan will not be released until April.
> "We saw what was going on in the San Bernardino forest," Forest
> Service Ranger Cid Morgan said. "We could see we were starting to get
> a bit of tree mortality in our higher country. We're concerned about
> it."
> The thinning along Big Pines Highway &#8212; west of Wrightwood
> &#8212; is intended to protect a dozen organizations' camps along the
> road and safeguard a critical escape route for campers and Wrightwood
> residents.
> Forestry experts say the Angeles Forest, where Jeffrey pines
> predominate, has not seen the overwhelming bark beetle infestations
> that have killed thousands of drought-weakened and overcrowded
> ponderosa pines in Lake Arrowhead and elsewhere in the San Bernardino
> National Forest.
> There are bark beetles in Angeles &#8212; a different species than in
> San Bernardino &#8212; but not enough to alarm officials. Instead,
> extreme overgrowth of trees and underbrush is their concern, and they
> say the time to act is now.
> "In Wrightwood, the fire danger is not as severe due to tree
> mortality. However, there is still a high fire danger because of the
> drought and the amount of dry brush," said Tracey Martinez,
> spokeswoman for San Bernardino County Fire. "The recent snow obviously
> has helped, but there's still a fire danger in that area."
> The thinning, planned with the help of computer models of fire
> behavior, is expected to start in the fall, Morgan said. The Forest
> Service is accepting comments from the public on the plan until March
> 5.
> The Big Pines and Wrightwood tree-thinning projects will focus on land
> adjacent to communities. The goal is to protect people and property,
> including the Big Pines Historic District, and restore the forest to a
> lower, healthier density.
> John Aziz of the Wrightwood Fire Safe Council said the Forest Service
> plan is well thought out and desperately needed.
> "It's absolutely amazing on how thorough, how sensitive to wildlife,
> to humans, to firefighters this plan is," Aziz said. "They're looking
> at this as an overall package to make the forest a safer place to be."
> Comment by poster: It seems that reason and science is starting to
> take over in our National Forests. Now, all we need is for the courts
> to decide (as if they are all-knowing and educated on ecology) that
> this is the right thing to do.
> Larry,    restoring forests, one tree at a time

It ain't thinned 'till it's thinned!  Take a look at this article in
todays (2/20/04) Arizona Republic!  Good luck to the Angels NF!

The obstructionism continues unabated by the Sierra Club and the
Center for Biological Diversity.  They have brought suit to stop a
thinning project on 7500 acres in the Kaibab NF.  Here are the figures
for what the NSF wants to take out:

     Diameter              Number of trees             Percent of

     5-9 inches                146,203                       55%
     9-12  "                   70,000                        26%
     12-18 "                   43,306                        3%
     24 inches and             398                           <1% 

      TOTAL NUMBER OF TREES:   267,691

This doesn't includes the less than 5 inch trees.  

The environmental groups say that the NFS wants to cut too much old
growth.  Well, look at the numbers! There is hardly and old growth
tree there.  In a rarity, this project will net about $900,000.  God
forbid that the NF should make a penny from a thinning project that is
badly needed.

With still another almost snowless winter here in the SW the world's
largest Ponderosa forest will be more than ripe for another
Rodeo-Cediski type conflagration.  God help us, and save us and our
forests from the sierra Club.

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