Wrong on logging policy | TheUnion.com

Wrong on logging policy

Robert Ingram of Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) claims that Bush’s new policy does not allow logging of old growth trees and clearcutting in Roadless Areas on our national forests (Other Voices column, Aug. 14).

He’s incorrect. Though the removal of trees over 30 inches in diameter is generally prohibited on national forests in the Sierra Nevada, this is not the case in most other regions, where, because of President Bush’s policy, Roadless Areas can now be clearcut and ancient trees felled. Even in the Sierra, trees 30 inches in diameter are often over 250 years old, especially on the east side.

Ingram implies that small trees weren’t removed on the Star Fire logging project (Tahoe) because of conservation groups. Actually, conservation groups unanimously urged removal of only small trees – a move the Forest Service and timber industry opposed. This is common. SPI’s comments on the Gap Fire sale opposed such a requirement because they claimed the “value of the material [small trees] is minimal” and the removal too “costly.” They want the large trees.

Ironically, the Star Fire began on SPI’s own commercial timberlands in an area recently logged where SPI had failed to remove flammable logging-slash debris.

Chad Hanson

Director, John Muir Project

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