Carbon and Public Forestlands

Dear Editor,

In addition to our fish, we see another area of nature that the government has continually mismanaged – our state public lands.

With growing cries of stopping harvests to solely use forests as carbon banks, my concern is with the misunderstanding of carbon sequestration. I will hold off on sharing the argument that rural communities are being asked to bear the carbon-polluting sins of the economic centers of the I-5 corridors.

I will instead talk about our state forest lands and carbon. Our forests are like the filter of your heating and air conditioning unit, or a Tesla’s air filter, it needs to be changed regularly. By timber harvesting and replanting with fresh seedlings, it allows the DNR to clean our air filter regularly through scientifically proven sustainable timber harvesting and reforestation. This allows the carbon that has been sequestered in the standing forest to remain captured when harvested and made into building materials for new housing, schools, and businesses.

Unlike plastic or concrete wood is 100% recyclable and those recycled wood products can be used in many different ways and can be continually recycled for a very long time. But ultimately they can be returned back to mother earth in the form of nutrients to feed our replanted forestlands.

Ending the management of our forestlands will significantly increase the chances of the sudden, shocking release of captured carbon back into our environment through uncontrolled, deadly forest fires. Our suppliers will have to seek other sources of lumber and wood products, sources with much less stringent environmental laws. Ending management of our forestlands will deplete funding to our junior taxing districts and cause more unemployment in our already struggling rural communities.

We must demand that the DNR perform its clearly stated financial mandate to support all of our junior taxing districts thru proper forest management that enhances both recreation and timber harvesting.

Tim Fletcher, Mayor of the City of Forks