A plea to the U.S. Forest ServiceTo: Randy Moore
Dear Mr. Moore,
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors would like to thank you for meeting with representatives of our county along with many other representatives from Northern California last December in Sacramento to discuss forest management issues.
Plumas County's land base has over 70 percent federal land that is administered by the United States Forest Service.
Historically, this was a win/win situation for both the county and the Forest Service due to the sustainable forest management program that was implemented at a steady pace and generated enough receipts so that the county could retain a viable economic base, maintain roads, support schools and enhance recreation opportunities.
It is important that we revive the commitment made to rural forested counties by the United States Congress when the national forest lands were reserved many years ago.
Addressing social and economic sustainability in land management planning and evaluating those very contributions to the plan area are stated in the Forest Service Manual (Section 1920 Land Management Planning) and must be considered to the fullest extent in all future forest management planning, along with coordination between county, state and federal governments.
Currently our national forests are overgrown and prone to catastrophic wildfire thus jeopardizing clean air, wildlife habitat, important watersheds for the state of California, and human life and property.
Economic sustainability for rural communities that lie within the federal forested lands have also been jeopardized by mill closures due to the lack of harvested forest products, ongoing litigation and, most recently, a national recession.
The closure of mills and cogeneration plants with their infrastructure to process both lumber and biomass are likely to not be replaced once they are gone. We cannot afford to lose any more economic producing infrastructure in Northern California.
The Obama Administration continues to work on a jobs program. Our national forests are waiting to be thinned and restored. Our critical watershed needs protection from catastrophic fires to continue to produce an abundant and clean water supply for the people of California.
There are plenty of jobs to be created in this effort. Traditional logging methods along with new, innovative pilot projects can further help the nation pull out of this recession.
In closing, we ask that the Forest Service renew its commitment to and coordination efforts with rural counties such as ours by working together to address overall forest health, economics and sustainability; by producing a new forest management plan that will address these critical needs.
We look forward to continued dialogue and meetings with you over the coming year to advance solutions to the problems we face on our national forest lands and in our forest communities.