[env-trinity] Fwd: Redding.com Editorial: Forests supply water, so shouldn't water users restore them?

Brian Hill bhill at igc.org
Mon Dec 16 09:33:11 PST 2013


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>> Right on.  It certainly has taken too long to notice the elephant in the room - 50% of the world's drinking water is produced by mountain forests.  Where does most of the water for SF, LA and the Valley come from?  Forest health and water are directly related.  And now that Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack has declared, right here in Trinity County, that the Dept. of Agriculture is increasing local communities' responsibility to manage the Public Lands, but with less Federal financial support, local management of economy and ecology watershed by watershed that we fought for during the days of the California Strategy to Maintain Biological Diversity, has indeed become our local reality.  Therefore, if the cities, factory farms and industries down south would like to continue receiving water from the mountains, (1) costs for fireproofing the forests that produce the water must increase.  It is indeed cheap insurance.  (2) And, because more water is being demanded by south state, forests that produce water must be supplemented to begin to meet these increasing demands.

Brian Hill
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>> On Dec 15, 2013, at 1:46 PM, Moira Burke <moira at onramp113.com> wrote:
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>>> HERE, HERE !!!
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>>> Thank you for pointing out most significant missing piece to the California Water Action Plan.
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>>> M o i r a  B u r k e
>>> tel 707 678 3591  
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>>> On Dec 15, 2013, at 1:39 PM, Tom Stokely wrote:
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>>>> http://www.redding.com/news/2013/dec/08/editorial-forests-supply-water-so-shouldnt-water/ 
>>>> Editorial: Forests supply water, so shouldn't water users restore them?
>>>> Staff Reports
>>>> Sunday, December 8, 2013
>>>> Last week’s water-bond hearing brought a much-needed political focus on the link between up-country forests and the water supplies of those downstream — but even Assemblyman Brian Dahle, who’ll grab any opportunity to push the issue, doesn’t really think a state bond is the way to pay to thin and tend forests.
>>>> So what’s the better way? How about we bill the people using the water for the work needed to restore watersheds? Get Angelenos to pay for maintain the North State forests that are the source of their clean water.
>>>> It’s not as far-fetched as it might sound. One city’s already doing it.
>>>> Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico and a mountain town surrounded by fire-prone national forests that feed its reservoir, over the past few years has developed a plan to restore its watershed, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Federal money got the ball rolling, but to pay the future tab, the city imposed a small surcharge on water bills — a few bucks a year per resident.
>>>> What do those water customers get in return? Firefighting costs are reduced. Water treatment costs are lower. The huge expense of dredging a silted-up reservoir is delayed. For an investment estimated as $5.1 million over 20 years, the city figures it will avoid costs in the tens or even hundreds of millions. Not the worst insurance policy.
>>>> California is far larger and more complex than one little high-desert city with a convenient neighboring watershed that makes a tidy package, but is the principle much different? And couldn’t the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the state Department of Water Resources, which spend seemingly endless millions of dollars studying how to stretch the state’s water supply, focus a measure of their energy on looking upstream from their dams? If water agencies and the government are going to spend billions on new dams and pipes, shouldn’t they look at the whole package from mountaintop to tap?
>>>> Watershed forests obviously need protection, but they need to be more than just to be walled off. Investing in them — and putting locals to work in them — is a lot more attractive than simply closing roads and ignoring forests till they burn.
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