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Update August 8, 2004
I called the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week to check on the vote, and it turns out that the vote was pushed forward to August 11th. That means we have a few more days to send letters.
I went back to the redwoods on Friday to get video of all the redwoods being killed.
Here it is.
I know this is short notice, but it's pretty self explanatory and will only take a second! Thanks for helping out!
I was driving through the Northern California Redwoods last weekend when I came across a horrific site: miles and miles of new lumbermills spawning stacks upon stacks of freshly-killed ancient redwood trees. Some of the trees in these piles were so huge that they must have been 1,000's of years old.
My friend and I came home and immediately began to research this issue, and it turns out that there is a bill, The California Heritage Tree Preservation Act (SB 754), that is being voted on tomorrow (August 4th) by California's Assembly Appropriations Committee. This isn't an impossible task as it has already cleared a major hurdle on June 14 with the approval of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee by a 7-3 vote.
If passed, the bill will protect many species of "heritage trees" on non-federal forestland in California. (Heritage Trees are older than California, which became a state in 1850, and must also meet specific diameter requirements.)
These trees hold the soil, shade streams, preserve fisheries, act as seed trees, maintain generic diversity, resist fire by reducing temperatures, shade out underbrush and maintain moisture, and provide species habitat. Less than one percent of California's old-growth trees remain standing on non-federal forestland.
SB 754 would also grant property owners and their heirs the benefit of substantial reduction in estate taxes. This fact alone would help keep many old-growth trees standing, since they wouldn't have to be cut down and sold to meet tax obligations.
August 3, 2004
The Honorable Judy Chu
RE: SB 754 - SUPPORT
Dear Assembly Member Chu and Members of the Appropriations Committee,
I urge your support of SB 754, the Heritage Tree Preservation Act. This bill has been carefully written to protect some of California's largest and oldest trees while minimizing impacts to landowners, jobs and state revenues. The bill minimizes and offsets costs and it preserves revenues to the state from tourism, recreation and fisheries.
Less than one percent of California's old-growth trees remain standing on non-federal forestland. SB 754 will protect these trees and the ecological and economic benefits they bring to our state. Millions of tourists flock to California's forests each year to witness these towering giants with their own eyes. The trees protected by this bill are among the oldest, tallest, and largest living things on earth.
Please approve SB 754 and help us preserve California's ancient trees for future generations.
Your name and address here
Thanks to the
Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters for the great information and sample letter.