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Letter: National forest needs to rethink harvest plans

In regard to the Salter Y Vegetation Management Project proposed by the San Juan National Forest, it seems to me that there will be too many nice-sized ponderosa pines handed over to the lumber companies.

To improve the health of the forests, the plans include brush-thinning and creating a diversity in size of the ponderosas. They intend to keep the largest, seedlings and pole-sized ponderosas.

The problem is that due to past decades of clear-cutting, most of the ponderosas are a uniform medium-sized. The SJNF generally plans on keeping only those trees over 26.9 inches in diameter; the rest will be harvested.

I just can’t help but think the tree diameter number should be lower. Even a 20-inch tree is a good size in these forests and would eventually develop into old-growth ponderosas.

I would add that anything we take from the forests removesg nutrients from the soil and that controlled burns might be a better option.

Anne BowlerCortez