Re: "Managing forest land after fires," Other Voices, Friday, July 18. |

Re: "Managing forest land after fires," Other Voices, Friday, July 18.

The author suggests recent “natural” wildfire events provide public owned timber for logging (and that) would benefit burned areas while reducing future wildfire risk.

Mixed conifer forest approximately 250 to 700 years of age is wildfire resistant. These rare and often very large trees hold minimal wildfire size fuels. Unfortunately, the Tahoe National Forests’ “Forest Plan” required managers to preserve just five percent of the old growths. Predictably, commercial logging dominated, beginning slowly about 1945 and then running rampant throughout the 1950’s into the late 90’s when a policy shift finally slowed the cutting in 2001.

Tremendous harm was done. The steady removal of large trees spanning 50 years affected everything from wildlife to watersheds. So our public forest is not very “natural” at all with so many early successional trees covering so many acres. And are we paying for it now.

Logging large trees from these burned watersheds would be criminal.

Many threatened wildlife desperately need large snags and large diameter deadwood on the forest floor. Type “Deadwood” into your search engine to learn the complex role big softwood plays in sustaining forest biodiversity.

James Woods

Penn Valley

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