Logging planned in national park – by environmentalists

Really.  Redwood National Park and three state parks.  Led by Save the Redwoods League.

The new task for this century, Hodder said, is to restore landscapes that were logged but now exist in parks in a damaged, unnatural state.

That means removing old logging roads, restoring streams to bring back salmon and other fish, and doing everything to help second-and-third growth redwood trees get bigger, he said. On April 27, the league is scheduled to sign an agreement with the California state parks department and the National Park Service to allow for “restoration forestry” funded by the league as a way to undo the damage from industrial logging and recreate forests that are more natural.

All four parks involved together have about 120,000 acres of forests. Of those, about 40,000 acres is old-growth redwood, and the other 80,000 acres are in formerly logged areas that project planners hope to thin and restore in the coming decades. Most of the trees cut down will be Douglas fir, with some second-growth redwood and hardwoods like tan oak, said Paul Ringgold, a forest ecologist and chief program officer of the Save the Redwoods League. Roughly 30 to 70 percent of the trees will be taken out in the 10,000 acres treated between now and 2022, he said, and in some cases, sold to timber companies.

“These stands are a legacy of clear-cut logging,” Ringgold said. “We want to restore these areas as close as we can to the way they were pre-logging.

8 thoughts on “Logging planned in national park – by environmentalists”

    • Steve, I liked this paragraph in that write-up.

      “In light of the above discussion, the value of understanding fire history is not that it tells us what is necessary for the preservation of the forest, but it tells us how characteristics of the forest came to be and it suggests how things might change with future fire use or disuse. Insights into how fires of the past occurred and how they affected values of concern provide managers with important answers; but these take the form of explicating the likely consequences of difficult tradeoffs.”

  1. It’s all about reconciling what the desired condition should be, then propose a strategy to get there. Interesting that a national park and state parks are part of the discussion. I wonder how my Dad (now deceased, but who was a career man with CA State Parks and Recreation) would react to logging within state parks. I know other family members who would raise grave concerns about this proposal.

  2. I am surprised the National Park service went along with the idea. If it had been suggested by Green Diamond it probably wouldn’t of gotten very far. One time while traveling through the park I noticed that a large Sitka spruce tree had fallen across the road. I stopped by the park headquarters and suggested that I would like to buy that tree as I could see it being made into hundreds of violins. I was quickly showed the way out. Times change, that is good.
    I remember seeing signs of burnt bark on the old redwoods and often wondered how a fire would ever get started in these dense wet forests. I don’t buy the accumulation of woody debris on coastal forests.
    Things rot to fast.

    • Redwoods developed that thick bark because of the frequency and intensity of fires in that region, over the centuries, and longer. During cyclical droughts, the upper slopes, covered with dense and flammable vegetation, burns intensely. The winds from autumn cold fronts push the flames down into the river bottoms, severely-scorching the riversides, and even killing a redwood, here and there. Their lower branches often die but, the upper crown re-sprouts.

      I went on a hike, about 6 years ago, in a Napa County nature preserve in the western hills. I asked a docent about doing some thinning and fuels work, with all the abundance of vegetation around. There was also evidence of a previous fire. The docent flatly rejected the idea of doing anything within the preserve. Today, I wonder what kind of intensity there was in last fall’s firestorms. The Archer-Taylor Preserve is still closed, hoping to re-open in September.


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