Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Goal: Prevent loggers from endangering local wildlife by removing more trees from the heavily burned Stanislaus National Forest
After an illegal wildfire broke loose in Stanislaus National Forest in 2013, over 400 square miles of land burned to the ground, destroying countless trees and endangering many native species. Now in August 2014, U.S. Forest officials have decided to allow the timber industry to log the damaged trees and uproot thousands of birds from their homes.
Though certain trees are in danger of falling and injuring people, they only account for half of the logging to be carried out. According to news outlet Huffington Post, “About 24 square miles of the mountain range will be logged, as well as an additional 28 square miles along roads where trees threaten to fall and hurt people.” This poses a threat to rapidly diminishing bird species like spotted-owls and black-backed woodpeckers that currently thrive in the burnt trees. The damaged forest is not completely unsalvageable, either; reports indicate “new growths” providing shelter to birds in highly affected areas.
Sadly, however, the deforestation could mean pushing certain species to extinction. In response to the scheduled logging, environmentalist Chad Hanson plans to lobby for the enlistment of spotted owls as endangered, saying, “[Logging] is basically an extinction plan for the California spotted owl.”
Sign the petition below and urge California’s lawmakers to reconsider the U.S. Forest Service’s decision. Urge them to only log trees in danger of injuring others and to leave the inhabited trees alone.
Dear Governor Brown,
The U.S. Forest Service’s decision to log the heavily burnt trees from Stanislaus National Forest could uproot and endanger thousands of birds. I understand that some trees must be removed due to potential falling hazards, but timber employees will also remove 24 square miles of blackened yet inhabited vegetation. The effects will be so pronounced that the California spotted owl will be in danger of extinction following the deforestation.
Both the forest service and timber industry are mistaken for thinking the damaged trees are unsalvageable. New growth has begun to spring forth in highly affected areas, providing sanctuary to diminished species like black-backed woodpeckers. In addition, many birds have taken shelter in the charred foliage and continue to thrive. Though the timber industry has vowed to replant healthy trees, the real damage will have already been done. The potential for endangerment is so serious that some environmentalists plan to petition for the spotted owl to be listed as a threatened species as soon as logging begins.
Given the severe environmental consequences, I urge you to only remove the 28 square miles of trees that pose immediate safety hazards. Please, leave the remaining trees alone and allow the struggling bird species to flourish.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dr. Raju Kasambe via Wikimedia Commons