Why We Oppose Logging The Los Gatos Creek Watershed

Here is a summation of the reasons why NAIL is opposed to logging the Los Gatos Creek watershed:
Increased Fire Danger: Cutting a large percentage of the largest, healthiest, most fire-resistant trees increases the risk of a fire spreading into our neighborhoods. The overwhelming body of scientific evidence supports the fact that commercial logging increases fire risk. Sources for this evidence include the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and the US Department of Agriculture. We support activities that reduce ladder fuels. However, such fire suppressant efforts should not be funded by activities that increase fire danger.
Risk To Water Quality: Los Gatos Creek acts as the primary water source for hundreds of local residents and as secondary source for hundreds more. In addition, the creek supplies water to Lexington Reservoir, a water source for many thousands of Santa Clara Valley residents. Logging will take place along Los Gatos Creek and an additional 11 streams that feed into the creek. Since timber harvesting and related activities such as road building are associated with increased risk of landslides and sediment generation, the planned logging activities pose a threat to our water supply.  Large west coast cities such as Seattle, Portland, Marin County, San Francisco and Santa Cruz all protect their water supply by explicitly prohibiting logging in their watersheds. Why should San Jose permit something other communities prohibit?
Decreased Quality of Life: The proposed logging takes place in a heavily residential area. Over 2,000 people live within 800 yards of the logging area boundary. Thousands more live within 2 miles. More than three schools lie within 1 mile of the area. Some of these schools are within a few hundred feet of the boundary. Noise pollution from chain saws and helicopters, and increased traffic from logging trucks, with the resultant damage to local roads, will greatly diminish the quality of life for Los Gatos residents. In addition the logging activities will harm the local ecosystem, destroying wildlife habitats and increasing the risk that mountain lions and coyotes will leave the logging area and enter local neighborhoods. Also, private property would face even greater exposure to landslides as the soil stability provided by large trees would be reduced significantly.
Decreased Property Values: This proposal allows for logging in perpetuity. The combination of ongoing noise, traffic and increased fire risk are likely to reduce property values for Los Gatos residents in the affected areas.  We feel that increased profits for the San Jose Water Company should not come at the expense of thousands of citizens.
Kevin Flynn
October 9, 2005