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LIVING LABORATORY

Published on July 7, 2004
2004- The Press Democrat

PAGE: B4

COLUMN: Let the Public Speak

EDITOR: Thank you for printing state Sen. Wes Chesbro's thoughtful July 1 piece on Jackson Demonstration State Forest. The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has long advocated for better management of this important public resource. Rather than trying to halt all logging, CNPS has stressed:

* Establishment of a formal, ongoing science program to determine baseline biological data and biological trends.

* Restoration and stewardship of Mendocino pygmy forest, a rare plant community.

* Control of invasive weeds and toxic dumping.

* Preservation of biological function, biodiversity and non-timber resources.

* Informed public participation in forest management.

* Logging that promotes these goals and helps fund forest programs.

This forest could serve as a living laboratory, a refuge for disappearing native species and ecosystems, an ongoing restoration site, timber source, and recreation destination -- a model for a truly multi-use forest. Instead, it is currently used as a cash cow for other CDF programs.

Chesbro's bill, SB 1648, will help the local economy while preserving the biological integrity of the forest. Let's step boldly forward to manage the forest for the good of the forest and all Californians.

LORI HUBBART

California Native Plant Society, Point Arena