Community Forum: Forest loss due to Housing developments: (Part 3 of 5)
On June first the website called Humboldt Herald offered a skeptical review of an LA Times article about the eco-conscious, carbon-saving long-term logging operation on the Van Eck forest. In the days following the Humboldt Herald’s skeptical post received 101 comments! http://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/clear-cuts-vs-carbon-sinks/
As always diatribes, truth–bending, name calling, accusations of slander are in many of the 101 comments. But in looking past all the vitriol, let’s take a really good look at where Humboldt’s current viewpoints / policy issues stand.
What follow is quotes, analysis and commentary related to five subjects / issues:
C: Forest loss due to Housing developments
While this particular string of comments focused more on forestry than housing developments, the future of forest defense in Humboldt county has shifted more towards preventing new housing and less towards saving the last ancient forest. For example this season’s Earth First! campaign is no longer a battle over Pacific Lumber’s last ancient forests but is instead a battle to stop Green Diamond from cutting mature spotted owl forest for sub-divisions.
This change is in part because of the acquisition of Pacific Lumber and the new companies’ promise to not log old growth trees anymore. So this new voice of Earth First! is as follows:
Help fight urban sprawl, a battle that has come to Humboldt on multiple fronts! Visit http://efhumboldt.org/ to learn more info about the McKay Tract. Treesitters are fighting off development right now! Your help is needed. Stay tuned for upcoming events at Richardson Grove, the bottleneck in the Redwoods that has helped keep Humboldt “Humboldt”. http://saverichardsongrove.org/ You can rant and rave about the Grove and Cal-Trans at http://www.saverichardsongrove.blogspot.com/ Much love to all beings, including Ancient Redwoods! –Jeff Muskrat
Citizens who respond in support of this new voice are as follows:
It seems like everyone wants’ to visit places like Paris or San Francisco. One can walk the downtown streets and find shops filled with food and goods on the ground floor with living spaces above. This allows for better transit and a more vibrant downtown where people are likely to gather and spend money. In a suburb, you can walk to the kids park or the lake but no money is spent there other than the home association dues. Without a car, you can be dead in the water. A two or five mile walk just to get a bus or a pizza. Urban sprawl promotes a non active, stoic, independent and unhealthy lifestyle. Up is better to go up, than out.– Tom Sebourn
Lots of land in Eureka that’s vacant, paved, underutilized and under-taxed for its actual value to this community. Had there been an in-lieu fee on every square foot of national retailer development, big homes and empty lots, we’d have a fund to build the SRO housing needed for the thousands of new low-wage, part-time employees. It’s not too late to begin. 1/3 of California Districts already have some version of this. But Eureka is still in the pockets of developers. There’s nothing “free” about a market that wastes cheaply acquired resource lands to build homes for one class of citizen without also paying the full costs of the infrastructure it requires. So, you think that by merely calling the hidden costs of greed “externalities” that TWICE the full-costs will not appear down the road?? — Reinventing the Wheel
Been there, done that… Fedup at 5:16 thinks there’s no sprawl in Humboldt County. Guess he hasn’t visited McKinnleville. Plopping overpriced homes on cheaply acquired, remote Timber and ag lands, brown fields and sand bars, is irresistible. Local developers have been building more profitable, larger homes just like the auto industry built larger, more profitable autos. Thus, ZILCH for the average working family! –Reinventing the Wheel
It must be emphasized that the city of Eureka’s boom times were a century ago. When this city at the heart of the county was most thriving was when steam ships and railroads helped to maximize profit for ancient forest and fisheries liquidation. Since those past hundred years the fisheries declined, the profitable timber was hauled off and the railroad slid into the river. More recently the pulp plants shutdown, the lumber mills downsized further and further.
In light of this: what will the revival of a thriving Eureka one day appear to us as?
Many suggest that a new railroad, wider hiways and expansion of gravel mining is the answer.
Or perhaps we’re better off becoming information-based, service-based, tourist-based economy?
Or perhaps the future of Humboldt is in the restoration of the fisheries and the expansion of protected forest regions?
True to our Humboldt Watershed Council’s history we’ll work to restore our watersheds, and strive to enforce laws that industry wants to keep unenforceable.
–Editor, Voices of Humboldt County