Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors

1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
2. short messages on Twitter
3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

State's Largest Landowner Seeks to Convert Forests into Housing Tracts

June 6, 2008

Sierra County is embarking on a new policy of issuing zone amendments without environmental review. The most flagrant example is the recent approval of Sierra Pacific Industries application to rezone over 7000 acres of timberland in the Timber Production Zone (TPZ) to General Forest (GF). SPI is requesting similar rezones of comparable acreages in five other Sierra Nevada counties in anticipation of their new venture into the real estate business. As the largest landowner in California and Sierra County their plans to rezone vast acreages of timberland to a district which will allow private country clubs, golf courses, guest ranches, summer home tracts, mobilehome parks and travel trailer parks among other uses regardless of the impacts to timber production must be reviewed for consistency with the Sierra County General Plan and for its potential impacts on the environment.

The rezone, along Henness Pass Rd. between Perazzo Meadows and Jackson Reservoir will open the forest to significant environmental impacts, as well as alter the rural qualities of Sierra County. Not only will it remove valuable timberland from production, it will compromise the commercial use and the forest health of the remaining productive timberlands by introducing incompatible uses. Development on private in-holdings within the National Forest alters the forest structure, can interrupt ecological processes; increases the potential for invasive species and disease and insect infestations; increases fire danger; and promotes rural sprawl. Sierra County relies on volunteer fire fighters to keep our communities safe. Making land use decisions which will encourage development remote from existing communities puts a tremendous burden on those volunteers and reduces the security of the people who live in those communities.

The High Sierra Rural Alliance is a non-profit, grassroots organization committed to the preservation and enhancement of the rural Sierra experience. We believe rural values, including rural land use patterns, provide a balance between human, economic and environmental well-being. We think rural values include taking responsibility for our choices. We need your help to continue to monitor the County’s actions and provide credible, objections to irresponsible decisions.

No comments: