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Sierra Nevada Framework Review Near Completion

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Stanislaus National Forest information officer Jerry Snyder says that the amount of timber being removed from the National Forest has remained relatively consistent during the past four years, in spite of claims by Sierra Pacific Industries officials that the amount of trees being harvested has declined dramatically.

Snyder says that the volume of timber offered for logging in 1999 was 25-million board feet. That´s nearly double the 12.9 million board feet being offered for harvesting in 2005. In 2001 14.2 million board feet was offered, 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. Snyder says local forest officials are still awaiting the results of a review of the Sierra Nevada Framework proposal by the Department of Agriculture.

That plan could allow up to 20 million board feet of timber to be removed from the Stanislaus National Forest annually and might also allow for the removal of trees up to 30 inches in diameter. The review is expected to be completed within a month. The question of how much logging is being allowed in the Stanislaus came to the forefront when Sierra Pacific announced earlier this week that it was laying off 26 of its employees in Standard. Snyder says employees with the Stanislaus National Forest “really feel for those affected and wish there was a lot more we could do.” The Sierra Nevada Framework proposal was first introduced during the last two years of the Clinton Administration as a compromise plan for protecting the health of forests while reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.