Given the huge sums California has spent staving off wildfires, curbing greenhouse gas and ensuring clean air and clean water, it is surprising that more attention hasn’t been paid to the one factor those challenges have in common: trees.

California’s forests, and in particular the massive forests of the Sierra Nevada, play a role that is as critical to California’s environment as it is misunderstood and taken for granted.

Now a report issued Monday by the governmental watchdog Little Hoover Commission sounds the alarm on the state of the state’s forests, noting something we have warned of before: The Sierra Nevada forests are being mismanaged in ways that affect every Californian. Our approach must change.

Read the editorial in the Sacramento Bee here.

Read the complete Little Hoover Commission report here.