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Lack of Timber Industry Devastating to Both Local Economy and Forests

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Timber industry proponents remain disappointed with a federal judge ruling that struck down national forest management rules implemented by the Bush administration.This news comes on the verge of SPI’s suspension of the lumber mill in Standard.

TuCare President Mkie Albrecht was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

“This sets things backwards at a time when stepping backwards seems archaic,” said Albrecht. “We need to thin the forests out if we are going to save our wildlife and our timber stands.”

The administration adopted a policy in 2005 and again in 2008 that relaxed requirements related to the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. It included “categorical exclusions” that sped up the review process for timber harvesting.

According to Albrecht, the forest is overgrown and overcrowded. Studies indicate that a typical healthy forest in California has sixty trees per acre. Currently there are some sections of the Stanislaus which has as many as six hundred plus trees per acre.

Albrecht said that these unhealthy trees are prone to devasting wildfires and are even depleting Californi’s supply of drinking water. Every mature tree needs as many as 100 gallons of water each day. This much intake of water per tree is helping to contribute to the lack of water in the regions reservoirs and the central valley.

“Those officials (Bush Administration) were not trying to endanger species for the gain of the timber industry, but were just trying to just speed up the process to help restore our forests.”

The lawsuit was filed by a group of 14 environmental organizations.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

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