‘Save the Dead Trees’ campaign | TheUnion.com

‘Save the Dead Trees’ campaign

I fail to understand the logic that would make an environmentalist believe that saving dead, burnt up trees is akin to saving old growth forests. But then, these people do not deal in logic, they deal in agendas.

What was once a noble cause of saving green, large tracts of old-growth forests on public lands by these groups has deteriorated into threatened lawsuits, appeals, and delay tactics used to put off sales of dead trees until the trees are useless. The sickening reality is that most often they succeed.

And succeed at what gain? So that the burnt over tracts of land can be left in “pristine” condition, untouched by the greedy hands of timber companies only looking to make a buck? The USFS rehabilitation of these burnt areas (replanting, road rehabilitation, slope stabilization to name a few) is tied into sales of selected (not all) dead trees coming off the ground. Protection of the remaining resource is given the highest priority.

This “Save the Dead Trees” campaign is currently occurring on local burns and the onslaught has begun. Recent letters portray the Gap and Star fire salvage as an excuse for logging the “last of the old growth” to profit only a few. These groups actually would rather see nothing done than what is proposed by the public agencies managing these lands. Their excuse this time: There is no scientific evidence demonstrating that leaving partially burned wood in a forest results in a higher risk of re-burn.

Instead, research shows that removing the largest trees from a forest, even an already burned forest, increases the likelihood of severe fires by removing shade and creating hotter, drier conditions on the ground. You do not need scientific studies to address the obvious. Ask anyone with experience on a fire line or working in the woods. Ask people who burn firewood to heat their homes. What burns better, green or dead seasoned wood? Duh.

These groups have an agenda to stop all commercial logging on public land and will stoop to any level to achieve it. Nice legacy.

Doug Praetzel


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