My last expedition included another trip to Yosemite, and the Rim Fire. I DO think that there are enough dead trees for the owls to “enjoy” in their respite from breeding. Then again, maybe this new “Circle of Life” will provide more food, in the form of baby owls, to larger predators?
You might also notice the ongoing beetle kills, which will increase when spring and summer come into play. This next picture shows the little bit of harvesting that was done along Highway 120. You can see the drainage where the Highway sits, and you can also see how wide the hazard tree units are. The barren area in the foreground is/was chaparral.
I am glad that the Forest Service “took my advice” about getting the work done before there was any chance to appeal to a more liberal….errr….. higher court. However, is THIS what we want our salvaged wildfires to look like? This area should be ready for re-burn in a few short years. Also, be reminded that two of the plantation salvage projects did not sell, despite the prompt action by the Forest Service. My guess is that SPI was low-balling the Forest Service to get those smaller trees at less than “base rates”. That means that the prices remain the same (rock bottom) but, some of the non-commercial treatments would be dropped. It appears that the Forest Service wasn’t willing to go as low as SPI wanted. So, those perfectly good salvage trees will be left, “for wildlife”, it appears.