In addition to fish, I see another area of nature that government has mismanaged: Our state public lands.
With growing cries of stopping harvests to use forests as carbon banks, my concern is the misunderstanding of carbon sequestration. I hold off on sharing the argument that rural communities are asked to bear the carbon-polluting sins of economic centers of the I-5 corridor.
Instead, think of forests like the filter of your heating and air conditioning unit, or a Tesla’s air filter.
Timber harvesting and replanting allows the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to clean our air filter regularly through scientifically proven sustainable timber harvesting and reforestation, resulting in carbon that has been sequestered in the standing forest to remain captured when harvested, providing building materials for new construction.
Wood is 100 percent recyclable, and recycled wood products can be used in different ways and continually recycled, ultimately being returned back to mother earth in the form of nutrients to feed our replanted forestlands.
Ending management of our forestlands will increase the chances of a shocking release of captured carbon back into our environment through uncontrolled forest fires. Suppliers will have to seek other sources of lumber and wood products, sources with less stringent environmental laws. Ending management of our forestlands will deplete funding to junior taxing districts and cause more unemployment in our already struggling rural communities.
The DNR must perform its clearly stated financial mandate to support our junior taxing districts via proper forest management, supporting both recreation and timber harvesting.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tim Fletcher is the mayor of Forks.