Harvesting delays cut value of trees | TheUnion.com

Harvesting delays cut value of trees

Re “Logging sales in Tahoe lag” (Jan. 9), the article notes that the Forest Service is not receiving many bids for salvage logging after forest fires, but stops short of explaining why.

The answer is simple: there are too many delays between the fire and the harvesting. What if we had to wait two years to harvest a tomato? It wouldn’t be much good, or very valuable. After a fire, dead trees start to decay. They rot and lose their value. If trees aren’t harvested within two years after a fire, they have virtually no commercial value at all.

Often, bureaucratic delays and court battles are such that harvesting after a fire cannot even begin until the two-year window has nearly expired. The realities of the Red Star project highlight the need to move more quickly and harvest logs while they truly can be salvaged.

Hopefully, the recently passed Healthy Forests Restoration Act will streamline processes, allow trees to be removed while they hold their value, and result in the fire protection communities need and revenues the Forest Service can use in meaningful forest restoration.

Lisa Perry

Grass Valley

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