Rim fire salvage logging wins support?

Modesto Bee article today: Rim fire salvage logging wins support.

“Several environmental groups pledged Tuesday to support the salvage logging proposed for parts of the Rim fire area.

“They joined timber industry and other leaders in Tuolumne County in a letter urging the U.S. Forest Service to approve the logging, which is proposed for about a tenth of the 257,314-acre fire zone.

“The letter was from a coalition called Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, which was working on forest issues even before last year’s fire charred parts of the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and private land.”

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2014/04/22/3304927/rim-fire-salvage-logging-wins.html#storylink=cpy

Nothing about this on Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, which is a CFLRP group.

“Among the signers are the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, American Forest Resource Council, Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment, Central Sierra Aududon Society, Tuolumne Group of the Sierra Club, Tuolumne River Trust, California Forestry Association, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians and an off-road motorcycle club named Merced Dirt Riders.”

16 Comments

  1. The real question is whether the “usual suspects” will go all out to reach the Ninth Circuit Court, to stop the salvage of some of the dead and dying trees in the Rim Fire. The contested areas have both the largest trees and the highest burn intensity. I would guess that turning cable units into helicopter units could be a good fallback position, where these larger trees are.

  2. What is intriguing to me is the Sierra Club and Audubon Society signed off on it. 25,000 acres doesn’t sound to bad…for a forest that logs around 13 MMBF/year. I’m guessing that’s around 1000-2500 acres/year. The usual suspects…or should I say “suspect”…will sue, but it’s an important cultural shift never-the-less.
    I have to wonder…does the state of California log off it’s “state lands”…I assume it got school sections also?? I read the other day that Washington logged almost 600 MMBF in FY 2013….yikes…to bad Oregon sold most of theirs way back when.

    • I wonder whether the conservation groups that are members of the Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions actually signed off on the deal or are included in the letter because they are members of the collaborative group. That is, they were out-voted by the other members. Can’t imagine that the Sierra Club would otherwise condone salvage logging. Member list:

      American Forest Resource Council
      Buena Vista Biomass Power LLC
      Bureau of Land Management
      CA Department of Fish and Game
      Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
      County of Tuolumne
      Pacific Gas and Electric
      San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
      Sierra Club – Tuolumne Chapter
      Sierra Forest Legacy
      Sierra Nevada Conservancy
      Sierra Pacific Industries
      Stanislaus National Forest
      Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and the Environment
      Tuolumne County Farm Bureau
      Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District
      Tuolumne River Trust
      Yosemite National Park

  3. The Sierra Club now says it does NOT support Rim Fire salvage logging. This is from a letter from the club’s Mother Lode Chapter to Randy Moore, R5 Regional Forester:

    “This is in reference to a letter sent to you on behalf of the Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (YSS) collaborative group, dated April 18, 2014. The letter indicated support for post Rim Fire salvage logging and asked that it be accomplished in an expedited manner in order to preserve the economic value of the salvaged wood. The YSS letter was signed by a number of organizations, including the Tuolumne Group of the Sierra Club.

    “Unfortunately, while the Sierra Club strives to speak with one voice, occasionally there is a break down in communication. In this instance, the views expressed in the YSS letter that was signed by our Tuolumne Group was not consistent with our position. The Sierra Club is not supporting any level of Rim Fire salvage logging, with the exception of appropriate removal of hazardous trees.

    “We apologize for any confusion that the YSS letter and this subsequent retraction may cause. We will strive to avoid such occurrences in the future, so that the Forest Service has a clear understanding of where the Sierra Club stands in relation to the many challenging issues facing Region 5.”

    • I guess their site non-specific blanket policy conflicts with the Agency’s site-specific snag thinning project. Yeah, let’s disregard the reality we have already seen. Re-burns are a significant reality in this part of the country. Fuels reductions reduce the intensity of the next inevitable wildfire, man-caused, or not. Salvage logging makes it worthwhile to replant harvested areas, otherwise, most unsalvaged areas will not get replanted. There is not much sense in planting trees in heavy fuels when you know it is going to burn again within 30 years, with a certainty of high-intensity wildfires. We KNOW what happens when we do nothing.

      • LarryH

        It is utterly amazing when pride causes people to cover their eyes and put their fingers in their ears when they are confronted with a preponderance of evidence that contradicts their public position. So much for doing what is right for the environment.

        Also interesting that the Sierra Club practices thought control. I mean, you just can’t question the wisdom from on high and their mantra’s meant to keep the troops in line. You can’t have the troops discovering that you don’t know one end from the other. After all you might loose your power and that would do horrible things to your ego.

  4. Is it too late to fight this decision? I recently became aware of the logging and replanting plan. I thought I was on every environmental email list but last week was the first I heard of it. Logging and replanting is short sighted and ill considered , particularly in light of the 250 scientists who signed a open letter opposing the logging. Is it too late? What can we do? A petition directed to whom?

      • “mike”, with all due respect, it may be that you also are in over your head here. At least, based on the fact that you have not once (that I’ve ever seen) generated a post or comment of any substance, beyond a snarky one-liner. Presumably you have some kind of knowledge or experience that would allow you to contribute in a positive way to this forum. Smartass is cheap, unoriginal, and generally useless, maybe you should make the effort to put your thoughts into words? It wouldn’t matter (to me anyway) what perspective you were coming from, many folks here with whom I may routinely disagree (e.g. Gil DeHuff, Dave Skinner, Ron Roizen to name a few) have the integrity to sign their real names, and the energy and courtesy to explain their positions. Just a thought.

    • VictoriaC

      Welcome to the NCFP blog site.

      We have discussed this issue at great length here on this site. As you can see from the comments above there is more than one side to the story. One of the main discussions on this subject can be found here http://forestpolicypub.com/2013/11/10/dellasala-hanson-248-more-scientists-concerned-about-salvage-logging/

      My take is that the one size fits all solution that you have garnered from these 250 scientists is an irresponsible position on their part. Prescriptions as to whether or not to salvage and replant can only be made after a thorough site inspection by informed professionals. Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it is no. Until I have something to change my mind I respect the judgment of the professionals on the ground more than I do the 250 scientists who discredit themselves by propounding a one size fits all solution that in a great many cases can be detrimental to forest ecosystem recovery and exacerbate soil erosion.

      LarryH on this site is very familiar with the area and has worked all over the Western USFS lands. One of his comments elsewhere on this site illustrates my point. If my memory serves me correctly, his statement was to the effect that even today the USFS lands that were destroyed by the Mt. St. Helens blast and subsequent incineration have not recovered because of the lack of any salvaging and replanting while the affected Weyerhaeuser lands are thriving and preforming all of the forest ecosystem functions expected precisely because of the salvaging and replanting that was done on them.

      On the RIM fire, salvage and planting should not be precluded from those areas where excessive heat has baked the soils and turned them into a fragile and easily erodible condition. Nor should planting be excluded anywhere that there is insufficient natural seed source (due to the extent of the burn area) to regenerate the forest in a reasonable time frame.

      We seem to share the same concern for our national forests so I hope that my professional viewpoint will help you to broaden your perspective.

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