Circulated Letter From Rea Freedom, NAIL Steering Committee

Many of you received a flyer in the mail yesterday from San Jose Water Company. This flyer covered topics that NAIL members spent many hours researching to bring you factual information at the Sept. 11 meeting. We had to spend those hours because San Jose Water has not released the Non-Industriual Timber Harvest Plan, and will not tell us its contents.

This is a little of what we know:

Many fire scientists, including those of the Congressional Research Service, as cited by the USDA Forest Service and Department of the Interior, agree that cutting the largest trees in the forest is not fire suppression. Cutting these trees opens up the canopy, letting in more light and allowing brush to grow. In our area it is broom we have to worry about. Broom is highly flammable.

The map sent to all the neighbors of the logging plan area a couple of weeks ago clearly shows 6 helicopter landing areas. These areas require at least an acre of cleared space, and a larger area of short trees. Why are so many needed if San Jose Water is telling the truth that these large commercial helicopters will only be used occasionally? Remember they do not have to tell the truth until the plan is released, and can add things in later if they choose.

Impact to real esate? Remember that you WILL be required to disclose the logging situation to any future buyer. Would you want to buy a house in an area next to a large commercial logging operation that is going to reoccur periodically forever? The view and the natural quality of the area will be compromised.

One logging truck weighs the equivalent of 9,000 cars. They move slowly, and are dangerous on roadways. They may damage our already frail roads. The repairs have to be made at some point, but when and how long will it take? Santa Clara County is already severely understaffed for road maintenance crews. Even if SJWC posts a bond, the county still has to spare staff to oversee the repairs. How long do you want to have to drive on damaged roads until the repairs are made?

Some things not mentioned in the flyer:

The logging will go on forever once the plan is approved with no review.
The logging will be done in a populated area, the entire nature of the area will be changed.
The equipment and the men hired to do the logging will be very close to neighborhoods.

Amendments to the plan, like more helicopters, more trees taken, and other additions can be made after the plan is approved - without public review or notification.

Ask San Jose Water to tell us what is really in the plan, not just what they want us to believe. NAIL has asked repeatedly for the plan, we have been ignored. Is there something they are hiding? Show us the plan!

Terry Clark
September 25, 2005