No such thing as trees that don’t burn | TheUnion.com
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No such thing as trees that don’t burn

In response to the writer’s letter appearing in the Aug. 8 edition of The Union, I’d surely like to order a few of his fire resistant trees. I’ve heard of drought resistant trees, some deer resistant trees and even some flood resistant trees. And it has been a long time since I graduated from the Texas university system, so maybe there are some truly fire resistant trees! But to say that old growth forest doesn’t burn is total nonsense! I remember the drought years in the 1940s when the east Texas virgin pine forest north of Beaumont burned to the ground. Trees 60 inches in diameter became smoking sticks. Lightning struck the tall pine canopy and the fire burned a month and a half, with half of the state’s firefighters and the army from Shrevesport, La., fighting the inferno. When it was finally out, you could stand in the middle of the area and not see a single tree standing for five miles in any direction. Before the fire there was no undergrowth there at all, just a thick mat of dry, fallen pine needles. Guess what? It burned!

There are more trees now in the United States than there were when Jamestown was established, thanks to 200 years of reasonable and successful forest management by the companies that earn their living from timber. These pseudo-environmentalist, with their new “facts” and green lawyers, seem to be determined to write a new history for the timber industry and preserve the “untouched forest” of America.

I wish some of the folks would look at those old historic photos of the Grass Valley area showing the bare, treeless land from the top of Banner Mountain all the way to Penn Valley, where hardly a single tree stood taller than the tin roof of a miner’s cabin in the late 1850s. You know, not one single “environmentalist” had a thing to do with how it looks today.



B.A. Gilchrease

Grass Valley


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