Ted Williams, fire chief for the Albion Little River Fire District says poisoned trees, which turn silver after dying, background, near Comptche are fire hazards. The land is owned by Mendocino Redwood Company and uses the hack-and-squirt method to kill oak trees in order to bring back a redwood canopy, Friday April 17, 2015. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
From Els Cooperrider
Citizens for Fire Safe Forests is a group of Mendocino County firefighters and residents working to stop the practice of killing and leaving dead standing trees in our forests. Killing and leaving dead standing trees is a practice done by many companies (especially Mendocino Redwood Company or MRC) and is known as “hack’n’squirt” because the practice involves hacking into and injecting poison into the tree. We believe that intentionally killed standing dead trees pose an unnecessary risk to firefighters, citizens and property.
Mendocino County firefighters and residents have gathered the required number of signatures to qualify for the June Primary ballot. Nearly 5000 citizens signed the petition to declare intentionally killed and left standing trees a public nuisance. “Citizens have asserted their right to mitigate hazards created by industry shortcuts where regulators and elected officials have fallen short in public protection,” said Albion Little River Fire Chief Ted Williams (pictured above).
In Mendocino County millions of trees have been intentionally killed and left in place to slowly decompose. The practice of injecting herbicides, commonly known as hack and squirt, is used because it is the least expensive way to eliminate what the timber industry considers undesirable hardwoods, especially tanoaks. The main culprit, Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) has poisoned tanoaks in nearly 90,000 acres of our county. MRC previously told residents that they would phase out the practice, but more recently indicate they plan to continue hack & squirt for another 20-30 years.
Ecologists believe that hardwoods play an important role in restoring healthy forests. We believe MRC is most concerned with its corporate bottom line, even at the risk to firefighters, residents, and property.
This Measure is a well-reasoned approach to public safety and corporate responsibility.
Vote YES on Measure V June 7th.