Letter to the editor- Forest Service ‘got it right’
To the editor:
I am writing this letter on the eve of the annual summit to review Lake Tahoe’s future, seems apres po. Recent forestry management by the U.S. Forest Service gives me hope that there will be a future for the basin. My residence is adjacent to a Forest Service tract – presently under a process of thinning, trimming and cleaning called defensible zone – or some such. This area, a naturally beautiful, near pristine primeval forest, had become a tinderbox of forest deposition that would have been virtually impassable an impossible to fight in the event of a fire.
I have discussed past attempts (that were almost sinful), and future plans at maintenance in this area by telephone, and in face-to-face conversations with the personnel of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. In a conversation with Scott Parsons (a supervisor with the unit), I was assured that a “good conscientious contractor” was going to be doing the clearing this year.
Scott Parsons was correct, and the Forest Service is getting it right this time. The forest floor is no longer a great fire hazard; the unhealthy trees have been removed and there is light and air so the remaining trees will grow healthy.
In years past there have been other attempts that stopped with very poor results; perhaps it was due to the alleged mandate by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency that they could not work the forest until there was a layer of snow on the ground. True or not, today the piles of cut, decaying wood still remain, lying in close proximity to the even older piles of hand-cut and hand-stacked wood done by an earlier attempt of the Forest Service with the help of a large group of convicts. Both very large decaying log mulch piles of inefficient origin and questionable future.
The contractor currently doing removal, C.T.L. Forest Management, Inc., appears to be doing a superlative job of cutting, stacking and cleaning, all while minimizing the impact on the forest. In my opinion, this is the way a forest should be managed. Kudos and accolades to the contractor. And, to the Forest Service, I say again, “You got it right this time.”
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