Today’s Greenwire has an article on Chad Hanson, “Activists’ Quixote-like goal: No logging on public lands.” There is much to discuss here — the pros/cons of Hanson’s goal. However, I hope all of us will stick to the issues and avoid the usual snide remarks. I, for one, wonder why Greenwire produced this story. There’s no news here — Hanson’s stance hasn’t changed, and there’s no new study to back his views. At least the article aims for balance — for instance, by quoting Bill Imbergamo, executive director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, a timber industry group.
My main disagreement with Hanson is his proposition that “the federal timber sales program must be ended in order for ecological management of our national forests and other federal forestlands to occur.” In other words, “let nature take its course.” But that ignores human influences of nature, such as fire exclusion, grazing, development, etc. The best example is the management of the giant sequoia groves in the Sierras. If one wants the giants to survive, some of the competing white fir will have to be cut — they’re too big to remove with a prescribed burn, now. So, either you conduct active forest management or watch as the giant sequoias weaken and die. To some degree, that applies to vast areas of federal forests.