Citizens need to take part in the forest management plan
The Sequoia National Forest is giving citizens a chance to have a say in how the forest will be managed for the next several decades at a public meeting next week. We urge people to take advantage of the opportunity.
Officials with the local forest are beginning to revise and update its 1988 Land and Resource Management Plan. Sequoia National Forest is one of only three forests to begin the process that will eventually be repeated at all forests in the United States.
The management document will cover all aspects of the forest, timber management, recreation and fire suppression, but excluded from the overall plans are individual management plans for the Giant Sequoia National Monument area and the wilderness areas of the forest.
SNF Supervisor Kevin Elliott has stated public input is an important part of the process to develop the plan. He is urging people to attend the meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Forest headquarters, 1839 S. Newcomb St. in Porterville. A second meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Oddfellows Hall, 40 Tobias Road in Kernville.
Sequoia National Forest is a significant resource in our back yard. It is utilized by millions of people every day and provides hundreds of jobs and could provide even more or maybe less depending on the final management plan.
We hope the plan addresses the health of the forest, specifically the overgrowth of trees that is choking off water and nutrients. That in turn is weakening the health of trees that creates more damage from insects and eventually a greater fire risk.
There are also hundreds of private property owners whose rights need to be ensured in this process. Areas like Camp Nelson and Ponderosa need to be preserved and protected from catastrophic fire.
For more information on the plan, contact Sequoia National Forest at 784-1500, ext. 1112.