Occupy Movement, Forest Activists Rally to Demand End to Forest Clearcutting

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Occupy Movement, Forest Activists Target CA Board of Forestry Wednesday, Rally to Demand End to Forest Clearcutting… Children Call on State Agencies to Protect their Future

SACRAMENTO – Occupy members from Sacramento, Davis and a coalition of forest activist groups – concerned with continuing and widespread clearcutting – will call for an end to “Forestry for the 1%” in California on Wednesday by “occupying” the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Occupy groups and others will meet WEDNESDAY (April 4) at 11 a.m. beginning at Cesar Chavez Park (901 I St.). Large puppets, children dressed in “Lorax” themed costumes will participate. Activists will provide satellite images of range-wide clearcutting in the Sierra Nevada.

From there, they are expected to march to the CA Forestry Board’s meeting at 1416 9th St.

The activists will demand state agencies and boards, including the Board of Forestry, Department of Forest and Fire Protection, Department of Fish and Game, and California Air Resources Board change their interpretation and implementation of forestry-related rules in order to end the environmentally devastating practice of clearcutting, which threatens water supply, wildlife habitat, and the climate.

Background: Clearcutting is a form of logging where nearly all the trees and shrubs are cut and removed in blocks up to 20 acres in size. There is currently no limit on how many acres can be clearcut in a given watershed. Heavy machinery rips the soil deeply to prepare for replanting with tiny trees. Diverse forests are replaced by tree farms that often consist of only one or two species of same-age trees. These grow into highly flammable tree plantations. Herbicides are applied heavily to kill competing vegetation, poisoning the soil and water.

Clearcutting harms water quality, wildlife habitat, and exacerbates climate change through the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide from soil. Thousands of acres of California’s privately owned forests are being clearcut in the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades and the coastal mountains.

The State of California has the power to require these companies to end clearcutting and transition to more sustainable forms of forestry such as selective harvesting. The clearcutting in the Sierra is primarily being carried out by Sierra Pacific Industries, which is owned by A.A. “Red” Emmerson, the state’s largest private landowner and the nation’s third-largest private landowner, whose net worth as of March 2012 is $2.6 billion.

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