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Op-Ed: More logging won’t stop wildfires

Chad T. Hanson and Dominick A. Dellasala, THE NEW YORK TIMES
In the fall of 2013, shortly after fire swept across 257,000 acres of forest and shrub lands near Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada, Republicans in the House of Representatives approved a bill that would have suspended environmental laws to increase logging in our national forests in the name of fire prevention and “restoration.”
Fortunately, the legislation never made it out of Congress. But it is fire season again in the West and, predictably, House Republicans have struck again, passing a similar measure, almost entirely along party lines, that all but gives away public forests to logging companies. A similar bill promoted by three Western Republicans is now before the Senate.
Just as they did in 2013, supporters of this legislation are using the public’s fear of forest fires to advance their agenda. They argue that overgrown and “unhealthy” forests raise the risk of wildfires, and that the government has been hampered by litigation and environmental reviews from allowing timber companies to thin forests to reduce the risk of fire.
Accordingly, this legislation would allow more logging on federal lands, including clear cutting, by exempting some logging from environmental reviews entirely, limiting oversight in other cases and making it much more difficult to challenge harmful logging projects in court.
The legislation is rooted in falsehoods and misconceptions.Some of the bill’s supporters claim that environmental laws regulating commercial logging have led to more intense fires. But, as we saw in the 2013 fire near Yosemite, known as the Rim Fire and one of the largest in California history, commercial logging and the clear-cutting of forests do not reduce fire intensity.
Read more at: More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires – The New York Times

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Getting to the root of Stumptown

Getting to the root of Stumptown


Stumptown was Guerneville’s original name. Located on the flood plain of the Russian River, the area was called “Big Bottom.”

In the mid-19th century, Big Bottom was covered by “a dense growth of mammoth redwood trees” described as “the finest body of timber in the state.” There were trees 18 feet in diameter and nearly 370 feet tall (the tallest known redwood today measures 379 feet).

The Russians became the county’s first loggers in 1812 when they began cutting trees to construct Fort Ross. Two decades later, northern California’s first water-powered sawmill was built by Mark West on the creek that now bears his name. A flood washed away that mill in the 1840s.

In 1860 the first lumber camp was established at Big Bottom. To avoid the redwoods’ bulging bases, loggers cut them high above the ground. At up to 20 feet tall, even the stumps were impressive, and the village that sprang up among them was nicknamed Stumptown.

via Place Names: Getting to the root of Stumptown – Guerneville, CA.