Communities voice strong support for protecting our Giant Sequoia National Monument - Tulare County Ignores public opinion

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Art Rodriguez, WildPlaces

Communities voice strong support for protecting our Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Tulare County Ignores local cities which strongly oppose the plan to dramatically reduce the boundaries of the monument.

VISALIA, CA -- Today, Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted (3-2) to approve a letter calling for the reduction of the Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM) boundaries. The move was pushed by supervisor Steve Worthley, a former logging industry executive with a history of suing the U.S. Forest Service over the GSNM and a stated desire to open the protected forest to logging. Public testimony was unanimously opposed to the letter and any reductions to the GSNM.

“We've already lost so much of our forest-this is some of our last. When we take youth from the Central Valley to the Giant Sequoias as part of pur programs, kids that otherwise aren't keeping up in schools excel in place-based learning in nature. These forests are a source of life, water, clean air and spiritual sustenance for our Central Valley communities, and the world. Resource extraction is not a solution,” said Art Rodriquez of WildPlaces.

Public opposition to reducing GSNM boundaries led Kern County to drop consideration of a similar measure and the City of Porterville, a gateway community, when given a similar resolution, chose to instead approve a letter supporting the monument and asking for more funding for management and tourism.

“It’s clear that the community supports Giant Sequoia National Monument and wants to see it exist in the future. Cutting two-thirds of Giant Sequoia is a bad move for our giants, the ecosystem that maintains the giants, and our future,” said Sarah Friedman of the Sierra Club.