OPINION

Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2021

Mount Shasta Herald

Now open the high schools

Siskiyou Union High School District – it’s your turn.

First, I want to acknowledge a victory.  The MSUSD (Sisson and Mount Shasta Elementary School) board voted 3-2 to get our kids back into the classroom five full days a week. Thank you to all the parents who spent countless hours researching, speaking at board meetings, and rallying for our kids. While we are starting to see pressure from all sides, this could not have happened without local parents advocating for our children. 

Now, as the parent of an eighth grade student soon to be enrolled in high school, I know there are more students to fight for. 

Yes, Mount Shasta High School began hybrid last week.  However, hybrid only allows for kids to be on campus 9.5 hours a week. This is not enough. SUHSD has voted to keep kids largely at home for almost one year. It is past time to get our kids back to school full time. It is time to put our students first and open our schools. The next Siskiyou Union High School board meeting is March 10. We will show up and continue advocating for our kids ... Mt. Shasta High School, will you?  

 #letthemlearn

– Brandy McKnight, Mount Shasta

Open Schools California, MSUSD & SUHSD Chapter

Save the trees

As a long-time community member that enjoys walking daily at Lake Siskiyou on the trail around the lake, it has come to my attention that the county has recently started a logging project on the north shore, taking out many of the largest, most fire-resistant, healthy, beautiful trees right on the trail for cutting. They are taking out many of the trees in the narrow strip between the trail and the road as well as in both of the parking areas on north shore. 

I understand that the county has a non-industrial timber plan agreement and I am all for reducing fire danger through the smaller fuels being cleared, and with the dead and diseased trees being removed. But the county is selling these large, perfectly healthy trees in a timber sale for profit, to offset paying their employees. These healthy trees should not be used for profit, and for the county salary needs.  I met with Ed Valenzuela who is in charge of this project this week and asked him to delete from this timber harvest the largest, most fire-resistant trees that were right on the trail, in the narrow strip between the trail and road, and in the parking areas. There was no real compromise in saving any of these trees that are so visible and in the areas we recreate, use for shade, and where locals and visitors alike frequent to enjoy the natural beauty, peace, inspiration and recreation. 

The right way to do this is to engage the community before marking the trees, and planning a timber harvest. Mr. Valenzuela said there was notice two years ago, but then why did they go out there and mark so many new trees for cutting the day before cutting began? Any review would be irrelevant because they changed the plan the day before cutting! Involve the community by a public announcement of this plan ahead of time, articles in the paper, and allow for public comments and review of the map and written plan of trees being cut. Then stick to the plan, don’t add trees a day before logging!

The area around Lake Siskiyou is public land that the community enjoys and the county supervisors are elected to wisely manage this land in a way that represents all of the community interests. In my opinion this logging operation should be paused immediately, and the community should share its concerns. Lake Siskiyou it is being terribly mis-managed, and needs to be managed like a county park. I implore my fellow citizens to take a walk at the north shore of Lake Siskiyou, view the logging in progress, and note the blue rings where there will soon be new stumps all along the trail, in the parking, in the strip between the road and trail, where beautiful, large trees used to be. Even oak trees are being cut down. Soon there will be increased view of the road, increased dust, and lack of shade in the parking areas. 

Call today and let your county supervisors know how you feel. This is public land and I hope we as a community deserve much better management in the future.

– Kathy Zavada, Mount Shasta

What will we pass on?

This is a letter to future generations. I hope to explain many of the changes that occurred during my generation and the effects they may have.

There have been more changes in the last 70 years than in the past one thousand years.  We have gone from a small population with minimal changes in technology to massive over population and constant rapid changes in technology. The strength of a country is now determined by technology rather than by population. We now have the ability to start wars that may end the human race.

Travel has changed from cars, trains and small airplanes to supersonic vehicles and space travel. Science has changed from slow progression to constant rapid changes. For most people a high school education is no longer adequate to get and keep anything other than a menial job.

We have entered a time where we must consider the long term effects of what we plan to do before we do it. We now have the potential to ruin our world.  This is something we have never had before. We cannot predict what the future will hold or what you will inherit. Hopefully you will do a better job of managing things than we have.

– Neil Posson, Mount Shasta

A letter to Supervisor Valenzuela

I was at the 9 a.m. meeting last week at North Lake Siskiyou along with other concerned Siskiyou County citizens over the current logging taking place along the North Shore corridor from south of the bridge to the entrance of the Sacramento headwaters into the lake. You as the elected county supervisor of District 2 have the responsibility to community planning for this area. Lake Siskiyou is public land where our county has provided years of well maintained walking and biking trails all around the lake for recreational purposes and easy access. Our county even provided a big beautiful walking bridge to join North Shore with the rest of the lake.

Then after all this enhancement took place you, Mr. Valenzuela came in and ripped away, not leaving one pine tree standing in a meadow where there was no other stand of pines like it around the lake or in the area.  You yourself admitted the landscape was left harsh.

Fast forward to now, in the current cutting of healthy trees you are at it again, having sold off a long corridor of trees between the road and the hiking/bike trails. You have failed. Failed our citizens for maintaining a natural environment for our county and all the people who come from all over the world to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. We offered to pay for a professional arborist to come and reassess all the trees blue marked for cutting to no avail.  Your response was the sale had already been made.  

I am asking you to do the right thing, not for profit but for the maintenance of the area by cutting down the dead trees and lightly thinning out the too crowded to thrive trees. We are all, every one of us guardians and stewards of our forests, lakes and waterways so we can enjoy the beauty for the many generations.

Make our beloved trees and forest a priority not an economic resource for easy profit. We are pleading and demanding you to stop this self serving slaughter of our precious trees in our recreational areas. I have walked around Lake Siskiyou all year around for over 30 years and consider this area a vital essential part of what makes our county the paradise it is and has been for generations.

Stop needless cutting now.  Do the right thing. Save our precious trees.

– Andrea Miller, Mount Shasta