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Loggers Plan Rally, Meeting With Supervisors

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Local lumber and sawmill workers will rally in front of the Tuolumne County courthouse tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Steve Sias (Sye-us) is a member of the lumber and sawmill worker´s union. He says the point of the rally is to bring pro-timber harvesting people and environmentalists together to forge a compromise that will speed up the implementation of Timber Harvest Plans in the Stanislaus National Forest.

Sierra Pacific Industries laid off 27 workers from its Standard Mill earlier this month. AN S.P.I. spokesman says the amount of logging allowed in the Stanislaus National Forest has declined in recent years and forced the company to trim its operations. A Stanislaus National Forest spokesman says that while the amount of timber made available for extraction in the forest is much less than it was during the heyday of the 1980´s, it has remained fairly consistent since 2001, when 14.2 million board feet was available to loggers. In 2002 17.5 million board feet was made available for logging, in 2003 13.3 million board feet was offered and last year 12.4 million board feet was made available for logging in the Stanislaus National Forest. Sias says logging proponents will follow the rally with a conference with County Supervisors at 2 p.m.