Threatening the forest canopy: This is the most direct and obvious impact to the environment, resident opponents say, because San Jose Water, in contract with Davenport-based Big Creek Lumber, aims to cut the largest and most valuable trees. This includes redwoods and Douglas firs at least 1 foot in diameter, some as thick as 4 feet. Steve Staub, a forestry consultant in the Santa Cruz Mountains, estimates that redwoods in this size range could yield $40 to $2,000 each in timber.Even if you have no ties to the area, which is very beautiful because of these trees, it's an interesting look at the intersection of land management, public utilities, and neighborhood activism. Check it out.
These trees, many over 300 feet tall, form a high layer over the rest, shading it from sunlight so the underbrush doesn't dry out and become more fire-prone. Breaks in the canopy's shade also feed invasive plants like brush, which are the most likely to burn. Added to this fuel factor could be up to 30 inches of "slash" or branches and needles left over after the tree trunks are removed. Furthermore, redwoods are known to be fire-resistant—a thick grove of them can help curb a wild blaze.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen