It´s a gathering of nearly 300 cattlemen, loggers, recreation group leaders, politicians and environmentalists.
Amidst them, the Sierra Nevada Natural Resources Summit, held in Sonora this weekend, is attempting to set a tone and direction for the future of forest management as it pertains to fire fuels reductions.
The rallying cry for the gathering is to put aside the political and special interest group differences that have held the forest hostage for decades and allow all concerned groups to hold to the same goal, that of a sustainable, fireproof forest.
California Forest Products Commission president Donn Zea told the group the government’s policy focus is a bit misplaced when they are trying to get SUV’s off the road and ignoring the impacts of forest fire.
So far this year alone, more than 4 million acres burned from wildfires in the west, more than 320,000 tons of small particle pollution was released into the atmosphere.
“That is more than ten years worth of driving from every car in California,” Zea said.
Keynote speaker for the event was Congressman George Radanovich. Reflecting on Friday afternoon’s public session, the congressman said: “This summit is critical at this time because issues such as the Sierra Nevada Framework, the Roadless Initiative and other forest management efforts need to be addressed.”