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Wildland firefighters’ group seeks defeat of salvage logging bill

[Washington, DC] A group representing wildland firefighters Tuesday called on Congress to defeat a bill aimed at speeding up logging dead timber and planting new trees after storms and wildfires. The bipartisan bill demands that areas hit by disasters greater than 1,000 acres be restored quickly, before the commercial value of fire-killed timber diminishes, and insects and rot set in. But Oregon-based Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology said the bill could increase fire risks and undermine efforts to reduce hazardous fire conditions near communities. “Post-fire logging and planting does not ‘recover’ a burned forest, but rather, sets it up for future high-severity burning,” said Timothy Ingalsbee, the group’s executive director and a former firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Young, densely stocked timber plantations are prone to sudden “blowups” of extreme fire, and can start crown fires in nearby old-growth stands, said Ingalsbee, whose group includes about 80 professional firefighters from Alaska to Virginia. The bill awaiting action in the House “not only will create more hazardous fire conditions, but it will divert financial resources away from one of the most urgent needs of society: community wildfire protection,”

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes
www.southernsustainableforests.org

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