Suzann Reeve is so right to say “don’t turn our coastal lands and inland empires into wind tunnels with blowing dust and erosion. Don’t destroy the habitat for many species of raptor and monarch butterflies ... along our coasts ... and trees amongst the hills and valleys.” (“Leave us eucalyptus lovers alone,” Jan. 5).
When we hear the haunting cry of the red shouldered hawk as she writes her poetry of life across the skies above us, we know she is right.
And when we can no longer see or hear this heart-stopping creation of God, we will know she was right.
If you are patient, if you dare to take the time, you can still find places along the coast, like above Cambria’s fragile, endangered, Monterey pine tree forest, always under constant threat from the Cambria Community Services District’s firemen, where you can still see her graceful, powerful flight.
And yet, every day, the dark forces of forest destruction are busily concocting endless schemes to spend ever more money to destroy our forests. Even as we speak, Cal Fire and SLO County want to destroy still more of the red shouldered hawk’s predator and prey dwindling forest habitat.
Always in the name of security. Always with the same discredited claims of preventing forest fires. Always knowing that forest fires are caused by warmer, windier, dryer summer season weather conditions, and that every tree cut down, and every understory destroyed, creates that warmer, windier, dryer summer season micro climate where that tree and its intact understory once stood.
There are almost no coastal forests left, and if not stopped, the firemen industrial-government complex will complete the job. What will be left? Treeless coastal communities like the denuded hills of Cayucos, and inland valleys like Paso Robles, barren landscapes, stripped of all their woodlands, leaving their desert-like terrain to burn in the summer season sun and blow in the wind.
And no, the fires won’t stop. They will rage ever more, through all the fire fuel houses, till there is nothing left, but regret.