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Trump wants to turn California's wildfire crisis into an opportunity for loggers. That's disgraceful

Trump wants to turn California's wildfire crisis into an opportunity for loggers. That's disgraceful
Bryant Baker, left, conservation director with Los Padres Forest Watch, and Jim Lowery, a Frazier Park resident, walk in the Tecuya Ridge area in the Los Padres Forest near Frazier Park on July 26. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Last month my neighborhood burned down up to the fences on both sides of my house. Now I live in an ashy wasteland with five burned-out homes between my house and my mailbox. The fire happened on a freakishly hot night made worse by climate change.

President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are using our pain and suffering in the most offensive way, as an excuse to hand over our public lands for short-term industrial gain to loggers, mining companies and oil and gas producers. These activities will only make our problems unimaginably worse.

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This is not about science-based forestry management, as the administration wants to eliminate scientific review. This is not about addressing the causes of wildfires. The White House wants only to divert our focus from the real cause: a rapidly changing climate that makes us all more vulnerable.

This is about profiteering at the public’s expense.

Katie Davis, Goleta, Calif.

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To the editor: Here I thought our government was no longer using torture, but the Trump administration’s excuse for opening our forests to uncontrolled logging has to be the most tortured logic it has come up with yet.

The White House wants loggers to go into our forests and cut down the trees, because trees cause forest fires. Huh? Of course, the logging companies are only going to cut down the trees that they can sell. Apparently the trees that will remain do not cause fires, right?

According to one of the nation’s biggest logging firms, cutting down the trees will help the forests “adapt to a hotter, drier climate.” In other words, let’s ignore the climate change that’s creating this “hotter, drier climate” and just cut down those “bad” trees that cause the fires (and, by the way, also increase their profits). This is like a doctor who says: “We know what’s causing the problem with your leg, but don’t worry, we’ll just amputate your leg. Problem solved.”

The only thing that puzzles me is this: If the trees are cut down and there are no trees, is it still a forest?

Anne Miller, Whittier

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To the editor: Just be sure the science is right. The policy to allow clear cutting and plant seedlings years ago did not turn out well.

The U.S. Department of Interior controls most of the forests in California, and 50 years ago loggers were permitted to clear cut all foliage in harvest areas. To cover scars and reduce erosion, tiny Ponderosa pine seedlings were planted.

Now, the Ponderosa pine trees planted by loggers 50 years ago in the Sierra National Forest have succumbed to drought and the bark beetle. The political decision to help the lumber industry has left fuel for an inferno.

Sally Cook, Camarillo

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