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California IN BRIEF : VISALIA : Hearing Held on Giant Sequoias

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The protection of giant sequoias drew environmentalists and timber industry representatives to a congressional hearing about the fate of the ancient trees. Environmentalists such as Fred Matzke of California Trout Inc. urged more protection of the big trees in Sequoia National Forest. “Basically, we don’t know enough about the trees,” Matzke said in an interview. “One generation of trees is 30 generations of human life. The last 100 years have brought devastating results because we’ve kept fire out of groves.” Matzke also said too many trees have been destroyed for lumber. Sequoias themselves are not cut for lumber, but the Sierra Club has charged that the habitat for the ancient sequoia groves is threatened by the clear-cutting of other kinds of trees in the area. However, Steve Worthley of Sequoia Forest Industries said that only 20% of the forest’s timber is available for production.


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