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Mr. Thornton Goes To Washington

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4th District Tuolumne County Supervisor Mark Thornton leaves in 2 weeks for the nation´s Capitol.

Thornton is being sent by the Board of Supervisors to meet with officials and present inquires into the state of Stanislaus National Forest. Thornton and fellow supervisors have indicated that they want to see the implementation of Timber Harvest plans in the forest speeded up.

5th District Supervisor Dick Pland says Thornton will meet with a variety of officials, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman George Radanovich regarding logging in the Stanislaus.

“He´ll check into the lack of timber sales to supply the local mills. So, there will be conatct made with our represenatives and hopefully someone within the Forest Service.”

Imminent layoffs of Sierra Pacific employees at its Sonora and Chinese Camp mills has supervisors worried about the mills possible closure. SPI official Ed Bond says the timber giant has no plans to close the mills and that workers are continuing to upgrade the Sonora facility. Approximately 150 sawmill and planer workers are expected to be laid off for an unknown duration of time beginning in March. Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn says he is currently working on a plan that would virtually double the amount of trees available for logging next year. Whether that amount will be sustainable after 2006 remains to be seen.