Terry Seyden sent this piece from the Salt Lake Tribune.
Here’s an excerpt:
Last month’s Lost Lake Fire, blackening thousands of acres near Teasdale, shows the need to step up forest treatments, Chappell believes.
“We just had a fire down here that should’ve opened a few eyes about logging and thinning.”
Utah Environmental Congress Program Director Kevin Mueller said leaving the trees alone won’t invite an unnatural fire. The spruce forest naturally burns at long intervals — once every 300 years — so the last century’s fire-suppression efforts that get blamed for creating dangerously thick forests haven’t had any effect on these areas. They grew thick naturally.
“We strongly believe the Forest Service shouldn’t be logging old-growth spruce,” he said, “partly because so much of the spruce has been hit by the spruce beetle.”
If trees are dead from spruce beetle, are they still good habitat? And if not, how can a test for the forest’s projects be :
The groups say goshawks need 6,000 acres to roam, and at least a third of that must be dense old-growth spruce that keeps out less-agile predators that compete with them. Where 68 pairs of the birds roamed Dixie when the Forest Service wrote its 1982 forest plan, only 30 remained last decade. As long as that’s the case, they say, the Forest Service can’t mess with habitat.
If they really need 2000 acres of dense spruce and that spruce is dying from spruce beetle it sounds like there is a problem that keeping the forest from doing treatments through litigation is not going to solve.
Hoping someone on the blog understands more about this than I and can explain.