Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan - 2010 Comment Period on Draft Management Plan (and DEIS)

Ruth Sandra Sperling

I have blogged about this before -- but now after years of scientific review and writing and legal court actions -- we have a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Management Plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument established by President Bill Clinton's Presidential Proclamation on April 15, 2000!!

Well, it has taken a while (over 10 years), but hopefully we have one will which will really serve the purpose of the Presidential Proclamation.

They are having Public Meetings during the comment period -- to present the DEIS and Draft Management Plan and explain it to the Public, as given on the Sequoia National Forest website for the Giant Sequoia National Mounment Management Plan.

This is all part of the Public Process -- done per "NEPA" (National Environmental Policy Act - defined in Wikipedia here and you can find more information on NEPA here).

These are Public lands -- and the Public have a right to make comments on the management of these lands!!

And, as I look at it, this may be one of the most important Forest Public DEIS's and Comment Periods in the United States!! After all, as stated on the Conservation International website on Biodiversity Hotpsots, the Giant Sequoias are in one Biodiversity Hotspot, the California Floristic Province - and the Giant Sequoias are "the planet's largest living organism" -- and their ecosystem is Globally Significant for Biodiversity -- and certainly one of the most significant for Carbon Storage!!!!

Tonight the first Public Meeting for this comment period was held in Porterville, CA, where the headquarters for the Sequoia National Forest (including the Giant Sequoia National Monument) are.

There are 5 more scheduled - including one in San Francisco and two in the County of Los Angeles:

•Saturday, September 18, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield.
•Tuesday, September 21, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clovis.
•Wednesday, September 22, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.
•Wednesday, October 6, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia.
•Thursday, October 7, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Hilton in Pasadena

And there is another meeting of the Science Review Panel at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, CA on the evening of Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 5 PM until 8 PM. (I plan to attend this one.)

All in plenty of time to get the data -- and make your own comments before the Comment Periods closes on November 3, 2010!!!

I have been going to Public Meetings on the Giant Sequoia National Monument - from the forums for its establishment in March 2000 through all kinds of meetings, including the meetings of the Scientific Advisory Board 2001 through 2003, where they discussed the development of the Management Plan and created their Advisories, which are being used in the development of the Management Plan.

I have learned a phenomenal amount!! Though I have my own ideas of the protection of the Giant Sequoia ecosystem (have the whole ecosystem in the National Park Service, but that is outside this public comment period for the Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan, as putting it in the National Park Service is an act of Congress [not a National Forest Service proceeding] - see my earlier posts here on my blog!! I wrote my California Representatives about putting the Giant Sequoia National Monument in the National Park Service and combining it with Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park years ago!), going to these meetings is very educational about what is going on now -- and there is scientific data available on the care and restoration of the Giant Sequoias in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

I have seen these beautiful Giants many times -- I am a tree-lover, for sure, -- and, whatever happens, this is an important issue for me and I am Reading, Listening -- and then Writing Comments!!!

What do you want to do????