The CBD’s expected lawsuit against the USFS over salvage on the Rim Fire near Yosemite.
The introduction offers some points to ponder:
“Snag forest habitat, also known as “complex early seral forest”, is one of the rarest and least protected of all forest habitat types in the Sierra Nevada.”
Rare? Says who? Chad Hanson:
“Due to fire suppression policies, there is now about one-fourth as much high-intensity fire—the type of fire that creates complex early seral forest—as there was prior to the early 20th century (Hanson and Odion 2014, Odion et al. 2014).”
“This habitat—if not subjected to post-fire logging—supports levels of native biodiversity and wildlife abundance comparable to, and sometimes higher than, that of unburned mature/old forest (Raphael et al. 1987, Burnett et al. 2010, Swanson et al. 2011).”
Yes, and clearcuts can also support higher levels of native biodiversity and wildlife abundance than old-growth.
“The Rim fire logging project would log most of the snag forest habitat within the Rim fire on the Stanislaus National Forest.”
The EIS says: “Salvage of dead trees and fuel reduction (28,326 acres) including ground based mechanized equipment such as harvesters and rubber tired skidders (24,127 acres), ground based/skyline swing (16 acres) and aerial based helicopter (2,930 acres) or cable systems (1,253 acres).”
The Rim Fire burned 257,314 acres, including 154,530 acres of National Forest System (NFS) lands.
So the USFS proposes salvage on about 18% of the burned area (but won’t be taking all dead trees). The CBD’s complaint says 60% of the burned area was conifer forest. I do’t know how much of the USFS lands were conifer forests, but I don’t think 28,326 acres is “most” of the “snag forest.”