Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Science scores a victory over the big lie of "salvage logging"

Five years after the notorious "Biscuit" forest fire in southern Oregon, one lesson is clear. Logging a burned forest doesn't help forest recovery, it's all about making money.

This forest fire has spawned a number of controversies, including attempts to protect the practice of salvage logging by savagely attacking a gradutate student who grilled some sacred cows with his research.

I've lived and worked in the forests of southern Oregon, including the site of the Biscuit fire. It's tough country to grow trees with hot, dry summers. And the salmon in the rivers live on the edge of being too hot, so careful forest management is critically important for their survival.

A small news story now out on the 5 year anniversary of the fire is evidence of an important scientific tipping point. Simply stated, logging burned trees is not defended anymore as being good for the forest. US Forest Service spokesperson Rob Schull said:

"...people will be careful about their language in the future, that ecological recovery does not need salvage logging by any means. We achieve other objectives through salvage logging than any ecological recovery."

In other words, the logging is to make some money from some dead, damaged, and nearby trees, not to help the forest. Ok, fine, now we can have a reasoned debate about whether to log burned forests.

This is a big lie falling in the forest, I hope people can hear it. It's a good day for science, forests, and salmon.

7 comments:

matthew said...

Big suprise... And I'm pretty sure I remember Bush saying that salvage logging is just "common sense"... another big suprise.

Kevin Z said...

Of course that is common sense as defined by Bush...

Term said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Term Papers said...

Thanks Mark drawing people attention towards it and great post..

Micheal said...

Good post Mark. Ugly stuff.. I'm not in favor of salvage logging in most cases so I don't mean for this to sound like I'm against the conclusions reached by the article.

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