Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Salvage Logging, Replanting Worse

‘Contrary to the conventional wisdom, scientists have found that logging big dead trees after a wildfire and planting young ones makes future fires worse, at least for the first 10 or 20 years while the young trees create a volatile new source of fuel.

The findings by scientists from the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University raise questions about the long-standing practice of salvage logging on national forests at a time when global warming is expected to increase the size and numbers of wildfires and the annual cost of fighting them is running around $1 billion. [..]

They suggested that the large stands of closely packed young trees created by replanting are a much more volatile source of fuel for decades to come than the large dead trees that are cut down and hauled away in salvage logging operations.’

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