Groups push for expedited Rim Fire logging

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

Local environmental organizations, the timber industry and others have joined forces to urge the Forest Service to approve fast removal of burned trees from the Rim Fire area.

Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, a coalition of environmental and logging groups, sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Randy Moore on Tuesday, stressing the need for swift action to begin "salvage logging" projects on scorched parts of the Stanislaus National Forest.

"Unless speedy implementation is quickly allowed for whatever salvage logging is ultimately approved by the Forest Service, a tremendous amount of sawlog wood material will deteriorate past the point of having economic value," the letter stated. "This would mean that the public would then need to pay in the future to have that fuel removed from the burn area."

Delays could also lead to the build-up of flammable material that would create an "extremely high risk when future fires ignite," the letter said.

Fast action is needed so that reforestation projects can begin. After removing the burned wood, the Forest Service can replant trees and restore habitats and watersheds.

For the complete story, see the April 24, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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