As many of you know, the B&B Complex fires began burning last July shortly before pResident Bush's planned visit to the area to promote his (Un)Healthy Forest Initiative. While the cause of the fires remains controversial, one thing is certain: so called "salvage" logging will do absolutely nothing to hasten ecological recovery in the area or make the area more "fire resistant". Most scientists (who aren't puppets of the timber industry) agree that there is no ecological benefit to post-fire salvage logging and that most sensible management practice is allow natural recovery to happen. On top of that, post-fire timber sales tend to be even bigger money losers than "normal" ones.
Unfortunately, the Deschutes National Forest appears to be heading down a path that will cause long-term ecosystem damage and waste taxpayer money. They are planning on:
-- logging mature and old growth trees over 10,000 to 14,000 acres. We're talking logging 16-22 square miles! Over half of the project area is in Late- Successional Reserves.
-- logging in riparian reserves (areas next to waterways)
-- converting the burned areas to highly flammable, even aged plantations
-- step up their PR campaign to fool the public into thinking that logging there is really a necessary and beneficial "restoration" project that will strengthen the local economy and reduce fire danger.
They need to hear from you! Here's some links to resources about why post-fire salvage logging sucks:
** "Restoration or Exploitation? Post-Fire Salvage Logging in America's National Forests" http://www.americanlands.org/salvage_logging.htm
**Wildfire and Salvage Logging (excellent, easy to read scientific report) http://www.saveamericasforests.org/congress/Fire/Beschta-report.htm
The B&B scoping letter can be obtained by contacting Tom Mafera, Project Leader, at 541-549-7744 or can be viewed online: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/spotlight.shtml