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Timber Industry Proponents Say Catastrophic Fires Are Preventable

Sonora, Ca — As of this afternoon, over 3,100 acres have been burned as a result of the Angora Fire, south of Lake Tahoe.

Donn Zea, President of the California Forest Products Commission, says things can be done to prevent future disasters such as this from occurring.We´ve been learning from the scientific community that a lot of the forest lands in California are no longer natural,” says Zea.Where the land may have supported forty, fifty or sixty trees per acre, we now have four, five or six hundred trees per acre.”

Zea says the trees in the wilderness are all competing for the same nutrients, sunlight and water, which weakens the forest. He says eventually bugs come in, the trees are killed, and it makes it much more likely that the forest will burn.

“We can fix this, by treating the fuels in the forest where people have chosen to put their homes,” says Tim Feller of Sierra Pacific Industries.By protecting the forest, we are also protecting the water quality and the habitat that the wildlife uses.” Fellers adds,It is something that is fixable if we have a viable forest industry that is utilized to achieve these goals of protecting our communities, our watersheds and our wildlife.”

Written by BJ Hansen