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TuCare Hosts Community Forest Forum

Sonora, CA — TuCare hosted a three hour Community Forum this afternoon dealing with the timber industry and related subjects in Tuolumne County.

TuCare President Mike Albrecht opened with comments dealing with the seriousness of the upcoming closure of the Sonora Sierra Pacific Industries mill.

Assemblyman Tom Berryhill followed with comments that the entire community must join in the fight to return prosperity to the timber industry in the Mother Lode. The 25th district Republican added that he, Senator Dave Cogdill and Congressional Representative George Radanovich are working every day to pass legislation in that direction.

Texas A&M Professor Emeritus Dr. Tom Bonnicksen followed with a video presentation highlighting the desperate need for proper forest management. “We have two choices; we can either manage the forests or lose them”

Bonnickson added that, despite what “environmentalists” claim, California has far too many trees. He noted that 50 to 60 trees per acre would be ideal but in many instances in California, there are literally hundreds of trees per acre. Bonnicksen commented that the closeness of the trees and the lack of proper fire breaks simply add fuel to the potential for horrific forest fires such as the Angola Fire at Lake Tahoe two years ago.

According to TuCare the public can be proactive in an effort to rebirthing the timber industry in the Mother Lode and preventing catastrophic forest fires.

First, contact Senator Dianne Feinstein and tell her the community needs to have the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range declared a “State of Emergency” for wildfire fuels. Tell her she needs to be talking to our Community Forest Coalition as well as the Board of Supervisors during her Fourth of July recess. Feinstein’s contact numbers are (202) 224-3841 (Washington, D.C.), (415) 393-0707 (San Francisco) and (559) 485-7430 (Fresno).

Secondly, contact the U.S. Forest Srevice’s Regional Forester (Region 5). Tell Randy Moore he needs to be meeting with our community to address the “State of Emergency” we are in. His contact number is (707) 562-8737.

Finally, contact Governor Schwarzenegger’s office and tell him that he needs to stand with his constituents who live in the Sierras by joining us in an effort to win Senator Feinstein’s support. His contact number is (916) 445-2841.