A Cure Worse than the Disease
Howdy all. We need your help to stop two damaging timber sales. But before you comment, I wanted to give some background on just how ludicrous this situation is.
The longstanding position of the Forest Service was that forest fires were a bad thing. For timber profits, but also for soil, habitat, and local communities.
Decades of scientific literature disputed that position. Forest fires are now considered a crucial part of our ecosystem, an intense but restorative product of hot, dry, windy weather. The Forest Service, on paper, agrees with (part) of that sentiment.
“BIG fire bad, SMALL fire good!”
The common agency refrain is that we wouldn’t have “catastrophic” large fires (bad fires!) if we hadn’t been extremely overzealous putting out every fire in the last century. Fuels have built up! Frequent, smaller, cooler fires (good fires!) kill the understory but keep larger trees alive. Let’s work with nature, and defeat bad fire with good fire, logging, and chutzpah.
That type of “good fire” might look something like this:
“…But not like that!”
The above photo is the result of a fire in 2021 on the Palouse Ranger District. As you can see, not every tree is burnt to a crisp.
So why is the Forest Service planning to clearcut this area? Timber sales have been planned to recover (“salvage”) the loss of timber profit from fires. FOC staff and volunteers decided to explore two proposed salvage projects and see both fire and firefighting impacts firsthand.
The outcomes were shocking: bulldozer lines throughout the forest, massive log decks (dangerously stacked adjacent to public roads), and upturned creekbeds.
The fires of 2021 give us a case study into how the USFS actually treats fire in the Clearwater: as a blank check to log. The USFS says we need to restore the ecosystem to a balance with fire. To my eyes – we have.
Restore the real damage: juggernaut machines burrowing through the forest for no reason. The last thing these sensitive post-fire areas need are more bulldozers and clearcutting.
Stand up to these destructive projects. Please read more about our groud-truthing and take ten minutes to fill out our comment form online. Every comment counts!