Initiative Could Let Voters Save Old Trees

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Voters could decide to ban the cutting of any California tree that began growing before the state entered the union in 1850 if a coalition of social, religious, civic and conservation organizations succeeds in putting the initiative on next year's ballot.

The measure would apply to all state-owned forests and private land, but could not restrict logging on federal land. It is opposed by the state's logging industry.

The coalition estimated that less than 3% of native forests in California are still standing, and said most of them are protected in state parks. The initiative would safeguard the remaining ancient and old-growth trees.

The Citizens Campaign for Old Growth Preservation said supporters include singer Bonnie Raitt and actor Woody Harrelson.

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