Dear Editor, Sarah George

Dec 15, 2022 | Editorial

Dear Editor,

Your recent article “Cal Fire halts Upper Little Bear fuel reduction project” only tells one side of the story.
Had your reporter reached out to Cal Fire or the board of directors of the Upper Little Bear Mountain Club for comment – or otherwise made any effort to verify information or provide relevant context – he might have been able to provide your readers with a more accurate and impartial version of events.
Your readers might have learned that Cal Fire did, in fact, follow recommendations issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in to order to avoid (harm to) the protected Southern Rubber Boa.
Your readers might have learned that the judge denied the ex parte application for a temporary restraining order filed by Save Our Forest et al, that Cal Fire was prepared to demonstrate in court that the plaintiffs claim under the California Endangered Species Act “fails as a matter of law” and that the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in order to prohibit any further action in the matter. All of the court documents are public record, available online.
Your readers might also have learned that ULBMC board members and individual homeowners did listen to concerns expressed by Dr. Hanson and engaged in dialogue with others. However, homeowners in our association voted to continue with the fuels reduction project because we accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that fire suppression over the past 100 years (since arrival of Europeans) has contributed to a massive increase in forest density. We want to reduce competition between trees in order to make our forest more resilient in the face of ongoing threats of drought, pests and fire. We want to restore balance and improve the health of our ecosystem. A sharp contrast to the way we were portrayed in the article as published.
I hope you will insist that your reporters do their homework and improve journalistic standards in future.

Sarah George
Upper Little Bear Mountain Club


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