Post-Fire Logging

A Federal District Court judge has sided with activists seeking to block post-fire salvage logging in Humboldt County’s Six Rivers National Forest.
In an April ruling, judge Maxine Chesney rejected the plan’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), saying that, among other shortcomings, it failed to address evidence linking post-fire logging to soil erosion and other threats to ecosystem recovery, and neglected to show likely impacts to 41 indicator species, including the northern spotted owl, pileated woodpecker, and Pacific fisher. The US Forest Service must now prepare a supplemental EIS before proceeding.
The proposal, which targets a recovering Douglas-fir and white fir forest east of Eureka, would cut over 20 million board feet of commercial timber to create fire breaks in 1,050 acres burned in the 1999 Megram fire. A second phase awaits an EIS.
“We believe this area will burn again,” says Lou Woltering, Six Rivers National Forest supervisor. “We’re counting on these strategic firebreaks to stop the fire before it gets to the community backyard.”
According to a 1999 Forest Service report, the most effective way to protect property from a wildfire is to reduce fuel immediately around homes and buildings. But the proposed fire breaks would be miles from the nearest community.

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