Clearcutting cypress cannot be justified
Timber industry spokesperson Buck Vandersteen's inaccurate data and personal attacks demand that I set the record straight ("Best practices used in managing our forests," Oct. 4). There is no justification for clearcutting cypress, our state tree, because nearly 80 percent of the trees will never regenerate once they are cut. Indeed, many cypress swamps logged up to 100 years ago have not regrown. These trusted data come from scientists and the U.S. Global Change Program. Big Timber often claims growth based on the controversial data that compared cypress "apples" in 1991 to "oranges" in 2005.
The Save Our Cypresses Coalition - of which Sierra Club is a member - supports conservation easements and other ways of compensating landowners for protecting cypress. Cypress forests are our best natural storm protection, and they are the natural legacy we will leave for future generations. Instead of mocking my passion, Vandersteen should help lead our state toward responsible stewardship of our cypress forests.
The letter that started it all: