In a lawsuit filed last year, the Sierra Club and other conservation group sued the U.S. Forest Service over its plans for managing the 328,000-acre Giant Sequoia National Monument preserve, home to two-thirds of the world’s largest trees. U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer sided with the state attorney general to halt further logging in the national monument created by President Clinton in 2000.
The plan would have allowed up to 7.5 million board feet of timber — enough to fill 1,500 logging trucks — to be removed each year from the preserve, the plaintiffs said. The Forest Service was disappointed with Breyer’s ruling and may appeal, said spokesman Matt Mathes. The Forest Service’s wonky science approved the removal of small diameter trees (not the 100+ year old trees) to “save” the older trees from fire. Green (young) trees are usually better at repelling fire since they are young and relatively water logged and most fires start from old underbrush. Removing the underbrush would prevent dangerous fires, but not worth a profitable venture.