While much of California’s forests are going up in smoke, the rest is being razed to barren, 20-acre toxic stump plots. At least that’s how nonprofit watchdog ForestEthics sees it. The group will hold a protest on November 17 in Sacramento to bring an end to clear-cutting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains by Sierra Pacific Industries. SPI is the largest private owner of forest land in North America and controls 1 percent of California’s acreage, including a large portion of the Sierra Nevada. Grassroots organizers said that SPI’s clear-cutting practices destroy crucial wildlife habitat and poison water and soil with herbicides. For more information, visit www.savethesierra.org.