Letters to the Editor

Forest clearing needed | Letters to the editor, Nov. 20, 2018

Dead and live trees and the sun behind a cloud of smoke as Yosemite National Park was closed due to the Ferguson fire in August.
Dead and live trees and the sun behind a cloud of smoke as Yosemite National Park was closed due to the Ferguson fire in August. TNS

Clear a forest, make it better

This is another plea for forest restoration.

Forest restoration protects subdivisions. Aerial photos typically show a clean line between restored forests and charred trees. Healthy forests burn at ground level. Crown fires, burning the whole tree, occur most often in dense, unhealthy forests burdened with brush.

Forest restoration is a worldwide movement that employs foresters who aren’t old-school loggers. Lives, structures, wildlife and watersheds can be spared.

That they are not is due to politics.

President Bush’s Healthy Forest Restoration Act was enacted in 2003. In 2018, Assemblyman Jim Patterson’s bill to reduce hazardous fuels was signed into law. Congressman Devin Nunes has been vocal in support of restoring forest health. President Donald Trump wrote, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.”

The Nature Conservancy champions forest restoration. The powerful Sierra Club doesn’t.

In 2017, it published an article, “Wildfires Burning Through the West Are Terrifying — and Necessary, Too. Fire is not destruction; it’s renewal,” that said, “. . . we have no choice but to accept wildfire into our lives.” This anti-science position costs habitat and lives.

California needs to support restored forests now.

Richard Bailey, Reedley

Move on from Measure P vote

“It’s my way or the highway” seems to be the phrase of the moment — whether it’s about national politics or something local like Measure P. I’m hoping Mr. Warszawski’s opinion page column recently in The Bee reflects his personal views. Any person with the slightest bit of common sense would be offended by his assertion that the mayor lied about the tax taking money away from public safety. The public will support taxes, we’ve proven it with past taxes. A tax of this magnitude would have assured any subsequent tax proposed in the next five years would have been dead in the water.

I cannot believe that the well-intentioned people of the Measure P effort would support such divisive statements because I know and respect a lot of them. For whatever reason, Measure P didn’t pass. The voters voted it down. We now need a cooperative effort to get what we all know we need — better public safety and better parks. Our community needs a well-thought-out plan and one that is supported across the board to accomplish our goals for safety and parks and that will meet the test of the voters in 2020. The divisive rhetoric needs to stop.

Kathy Bray, Fresno

Volunteers are needed all year long

Thanksgiving – a day to be grateful, think about giving back to others. Many people seek to volunteer that day.

Here is why I don’t think you should.

Pick any day but Thanksgiving to volunteer. Counter intuitive to not serve on a day with “giving” in its name? Organizations can be overwhelmed with influx of one-time volunteers. It takes time/resources to train volunteers, and making a longer-term volunteer commitment is the best way to support.

Do your research. Make an inventory of organizations that touch your heart, and make a few phone calls. You are not just limited to serving meals/sorting food. From repairing a porch for a veteran, being a soft touch for an abandoned animal, or a listening ear to someone who needs to be heard — your opportunities are unlimited.

Volunteers are essential is supporting business operations. Skilled volunteers in areas like photography, graphic design, finance, human resources, marketing, or property management can potentially be more helpful than simply serving food.

Volunteers are needed in spring/summer months when there are fewer volunteers.

Use this holiday to think about where you can be really effective, and make a commitment. The need is year-round, not just when we are reminded.

Carol Davies, executive director, HandsOn Central California