‘Blatant manipulation’: Trump administration exploited wildfire science to promote logging

Political appointees at the interior department have sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The messaging plan was crafted in support of Donald Trump’s pro-industry arguments for harvesting more timber in California, which he says would thin forests and prevent fires – a point experts refute.

The emails show officials seeking to estimate the carbon emissions from devastating 2018 fires in California so they could compare them to the carbon footprint of the state’s electricity sector and then publish statements encouraging cutting down trees.

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Test your trees for free!

Monitor disease spread, be on the lookout for new dangerous strains, and send in your California bay laurel or tanoak leaves for testing

You *MUST* register to participate in this year’s blitzes:

ucanr.edu/2020SODblitz

Participants will review training materials online due to COVID-19. This training is required, as it covers COVID-19 safety instructions and new scientific information.

We will host Zoom drop-in meetings for participants to ask questions.

Participants may receive collection materials in packets in one of the following two ways:

1.      *PREFERRED* Submit your address and we will mail them to you; For this, registration must be submitted by Friday, April 24, OR

2.     Pick them up at a table outside our office during times listed below on Saturday, May 2 or Sunday May 3

Participants will return samples by mail using pre-addressed postage paid envelopes that are included in the packets. Sample envelopes must be postmarked to UC Berkeley before or on Tuesday, May 5.

UCCE Sonoma Office packet pick-up times:

  • Saturday, May 2 from 10:30AM-12:30PM
  • Sunday, May 3 from 10:30AM-12:30PM

The UCCE Sonoma office is located at 133 Aviation Blvd Suite 109, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Zoom Q&A meeting times:

  • Saturday, May 2 from 9-10AM with SSU’s Galbreath Preserve Coordinator
  • Sunday, May 3 from 9-10AM with SSU’s Osborn Outreach Coordinator and UCCE SOD Program Coordinator
  • Sunday, May 3 from 1-2PM with a SOD Specialist Master Gardener

Rick Coates    707-632-6070 or rcoates@sonic.net

Reply-To: kwininger@ucanr.edu

 

Forest Service favors reducing public input to fast-track projects

Clearcuts and dead and dying trees pepper the landscape on the Lolo National Forest in western Montana.

By Laura Lundquist

The U.S. Forest Service is creating more ways to approve logging projects without providing environmental analysis or public oversight.

A recent analysis conducted by WildEarth Guardians shows the Forest Service is bypassing much of the public process in order to push through an increasing number of large forest projects throughout the West.

“The acres are just staggering. We’re seeing millions of acres excluded from sufficient analysis,” said WildEarth Guardians Missoula spokesman Adam Rissien.

Rissien used Forest Service postings to tally all the logging and/or burning projects proposed for the past quarter – January through March – where forest managers had applied a “categorical exclusion” to avoid the public process normally required by law.

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Addition to Taylor Mountain park in Santa Rosa secures key link in open space protection

Sonoma County parks may be closed for the moment, but there’s a new development that should bring joy to outdoor enthusiasts, even so.

It’s a 54-acre addition to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve that will expand the popular park right to the edge of south Santa Rosa neighborhoods.

The land acquisition, set to close Wednesday, was made possible through a $1.35 million deal put together over the past 2½ years by the nonprofit Sonoma Land Trust, in partnership with regional parks and the taxpayer-funded Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, which put up more than half the money.

The addition will eventually allow for more access from neighborhoods near the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and pave the way for future connections via the planned Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway leading to Spring Lake Regional Park and adjoining Trione-Annadel State Park.

In addition, the expansion prevents development from encroaching upon wildlife habitat centered on a tree-shaded stretch of Cooper Creek, a tributary of Matanzas Creek with headwaters on the northern slopes of Taylor Mountain.

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Long-term effects of forest harvesting on summer low flow deficits in the Coast Range of Oregon

Abstract

Authors CatalinaSeguraaKevin D.BladonaJeff A.HattenaJulia A.JonesbV.Cody HalecGeorge G.Iced

This study examined long-term changes in daily streamflow associated with forestry practices over a 60-year period (1959 to 2017) in the Alsea Watershed Study, Oregon Coast Range, Pacific Northwest, USA. We quantified the response of daily streamflow to (1) harvest of mature/old forest in 1966, (2) 43- to 53-yr-and 48- to 58-yr-old old industrial plantation forests in 2006–2009, and (3) logging of the plantations using contemporary forest practices, including retention of a riparian buffer, in 2010 and 2014. Daily streamflow from a 40- to 53-yr-old Douglas-fir plantation was 25 % lower on average, and 50 % lower during the summer (June 15 to Sept 15 of 2006 to 2009), relative to the reference watershed containing mature/old forest. Low flow deficits persisted over six or more months of each year. Surprisingly, contemporary forest practices (i.e., clearcutting of the plantation with riparian buffers in 2009 and 2014) had only a minor effect on streamflow deficits. Two years after logging in 2014, summer streamflow deficits were similar to those observed prior to harvest (under 40- to 53-yr-old plantations). High evapotranspiration from rapidly regenerating vegetation, including planted Douglas-fir, and from the residual plantation forest in the riparian buffer appear to explain the persistence of streamflow deficits after logging of nearly 100 % of the forest plantation. Results of this study indicated that 40- to 50-yr rotations of Douglas-fir plantations can produce persistent, large summer low flow deficits. While the clearcutting of these plantations, with retention of riparian buffers, increased daily streamflow slightly, they did not return to pre-first entry conditions. Further work is needed to examine how intensively managed plantation forests along with expected warmer, drier conditions in the future may influence summer low streamflow and aquatic ecosystems.

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