The following letter by Hilary Yoffe-Sharp was published in the Almanac's Feb. 14 print edition:
As concerned members of the community, we've been watching developments in the logging plan submitted to the state department of forestry by the San Francisco YMCA to log their Camp Jones Gulch property in La Honda.
We now read of a proposal by the San Jose Water Company to log over 1,000 acres of redwood forest they own near the Lexington Reservoir, which was recently covered by the San Jose Mercury News. The plan bears striking and alarming similarity to the YMCA's plan, with equally devastating results to the environment and threats to local properties.
Both are non-industrial timber management plans which allow for extreme cutting of redwoods and other trees in perpetuity. Is this a new trend in aggressive timber harvest that we can expect to see more of?
With nearly all of the redwood forests gone, isn't it time to consider long-range plans for stewardship of our precious coastal range as a whole?
Santa Cruz, Marin and San Francisco counties have already banned logging in their watershed lands. We must also urge lawmakers to do the same in remaining counties. In the face of these recent permit proposals, it seems we can't afford to wait.
As Big Creek Lumber spokesman Bob Berlage said of the S.J. Water Company's plan, "This is probably going to be the most highly scrutinized timber harvest in the history of California." It should be.