Court says dead trees will stay put

Larry Harrell lhfotoware at
Mon Feb 16 20:51:22 EST 2004

"Vendicar Decarian" <VD at> wrote in message news:<rQYXb.3464$Fp5.2557 at>...
> "Larry Harrell" <lhfotoware at> wrote in message
> news:7a90c754.0402130600.30db0057 at
> > February 11, 2004  The Eureka Reporter
> >
> > Ninth Circuit Torches Sensible Fire Prevention
> A good decision overall.  Fallen trees and logs provide shelter for saplings
> and fuel for fungi and homes for insects and animals.
> In short, fallen trees are part of the natural environment. Removing them
> will reduce the rate at which the forest recovers.  Removing them through
> standard methods will greatly damage the forest floor and reduce even
> further the rate at which the forest recovers.

Are you saying that you agree with removing trees in one part of the
burn and not in others? Are you saying that all dead trees should
stay? Are you saying that trees should only be removed by helicopter?
Should dead trees threatening roads and other forest improvements be
cut? Should dying trees that have a few green needles on them be cut?
Can county roads departments and schools use the monies generated by
selling dead trees? Should reforestation efforts be funded with money
held back from burn salvage timber sales?

Even after harvesting burned timber, those areas are NOT
snag-deficient. In addition, some green trees do continue to die back
after the fallers and skidders have moved on. I've worked on a great
many burn salvage projects and seen what happens in both harvested
areas and unharvested areas. For example, the McNally fire on the
Sequoia National Forest and in the Monument has hundreds of ancient
pines that survived the fire, only to be killed by a massive
infestation of bark beetles. By cutting the dying trees, you remove
bark beetle habitat. Careful logging, using helicopters, cable
machines and skidding equipment can have minimal erosion impacts, if
done right. I've seen many different kinds of mitigation measures like
spreading slash, straw and/or native grass seed in problem areas.

Of course, some areas SHOULD be left alone to recover without logging.
Areas of low-intensity burn are often just left alone. Economics also
drives what is harvested by helicopter. If there isn't enough timber
volume (the hated V-word of the timber industry <G> ), in addition to
the required amount of wildlife snags per acre, then steep ground
won't be harvested. Before the 90's, burn salvage was pretty brutal,
with only a few snags left per ten acres. Now, snag requirements are
sometimes pretty complex, having up to 3 larger snags per acre left in
addition to 4 medium snags per acre.

Larry,    burn salvage expert

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