Thursday, April 24, 2003
The Forest Needs Foresters
Although Eric Johnson's piece ["Bush's War Against Nature," April 17-23] deservedly harangues President Bush's environmental policies, the author's inspired prose about Sequoia is myopic. Landscapes, like individuals, are not static.
Before the 1890s, Sequoia/mixed conifer stands burned often and in low intensity. Since then, fire suppression activity has caused an inordinate build-up of fuels that, if ignited, will cause a catastrophic overburning of the ecosystem. In order to prepare these forests for controlled burns, stand thinning needs to occur, and some fire breaks need to be carved. These disturbances provide potential habitat to endangered species and allow for the regeneration of Sequoia stands, while not significantly affecting air quality and taking the risk of an escaped burn. This will hopefully allow for a more regular, and more natural, fire regime to be established.
Mechanical removal represents a safer, cleaner method of creating the disturbance that these ecosystems need in order to maintain health, even though the efficacy of these methods is generally inferior to controlled burns. The philosophical question remains: Isn't a slightly compromised management plan better than none at all?
Lech Naumovich | Monterey
More Republican Gals Than Two
Your article about Republican Latinos is full of crap ["California's Only Republatina," April 17-23]. It only shows how liberal you and your readers really are. As for Maria [Giuriato] and Blanca [Zarazua], maybe they can't count past two or maybe they just don't want to see the reality that we are here and we are tired of all the bullshit that the liberal Latinos dish out.
Republican Latinos will be meeting at the Republican headquarters on Thursday, April 24, at 7pm. If you go maybe you can pass two.
Guadalupe Vargas | via email
The article was about Republican Latinas, not Republican Latinos. -Editor.
Love Your Naked Body (and Mine)
It's absolutely wonderful to see a paper with the balls to run an article about FGM and the Pagrovian artist who's mission it is to enlighten and liberate repressed minds ["Precious Flowers," April 17-23]. Though I fully understand Ms. Knutson's intent when she places a deer's skull into one of her vulva sculptures, I can assure you that there are some of us men out here who hold that most gorgeous of all human anatomy in complete awe, reverence, and adoration. Not all of us harbor irrational fears and contempt for the source of our collective lives!
What I find particularly sad in that article is the comment that seeing Ms. Knutson's vulva sculptures is "embarrassing." Obviously Sue Fishkoff has missed the objective of the artist's mission. As a lifelong nudist and avant garde photographer of the nude human body, I find it very disturbing that humanity persists in holding onto its fears and contempt and shame for what is our collective truth. We all come into this world without clothes. Kudos to Noelle Knutson! We need more people like her and me. The world cannot ever hope to be truly free-especially hypocritical America-until humanity en masse transcends its fears of nudity and sexuality that keeps you all in chains.
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook | Pacific Grove