Re "It's time to rethink how we manage our forests" (Viewpoints, Sept. 15): Here are a couple of ideas to generate the financial resources needed to help proactively manage private forestland to reduce the potential for catastrophic wildfires like the Rim Fire.
Increase the 1 percent excise tax on wood products enacted last year, with proceeds earmarked to pay for prescribed fire projects on high fire risk forest lands.
Second, enact a tax to discourage job-killer foreign log exports from private land with proceeds used to offset a new income tax credit to subsidize forest thinning projects needed to reduce fuel loads.
It would be refreshing if the timber industry and its allies would also make these types of initiatives priority, instead of cynically exploiting catastrophic wildfires in the name of forest health and sustainability to justify ill-advised and divisive measures like AB 744 by Assemblyman Brian Dahle, which would exempt logging of 24-inch diameter trees from the state's timber harvest plan process.
-- Jeff Shellito, Sacramento