WASHINGTON - Released by American Lands Alliance: After the Fires: Do No Harm in America's Forests, A Report on the Impacts of Logging on Forest Recovery summarizes the scientific literature to date on the ecological impacts of post-fire logging on America's forests, and the significant economic costs to American taxpayers and future generations. The report provides examples of harmful post-fire logging projects on National Forests and highlights examples showing the benefits to forests when they are allowed to recover naturally after fires.
Congress is poised to introduce legislation this year that would rush destructive logging after natural disturbances, weaken existing environmental laws and public participation requirements and promote logging followed by artificial planting as the predominant management solution after natural disturbances (such as blowdown, fire, insects, and ice storms) without meaningful analysis of the environmental costs. These actions would threaten wildlife by replacing biologically diverse forests with biologically impoverished tree farms, and increase future wildfire risks on National Forests by eliminating a natural forest's fire-resistant features and replacing them with even aged tree farms prone to severe fires.
Speakers on the call will address the report findings and recommendations including:
- Logging after fires should not be considered a restorative action. While logging after fire is often billed as forest restoration or recovery, scientific evidence concludes this practice is damaging to the long-term health and recovery of forest ecosystems.
- Logging after natural disturbances does not make economic sense. The Forest Service continues to have difficulties attracting willing buyers for post-fire logging sales. In 2002, the Forest Service could only sell 69% of the timber it offered for bid. The agency often changes the sale terms to attract potential bidders, such as reducing minimum bid prices, and allowing the logging of more large-diameter trees. The net effect is to further increase the costs to taxpayers through additional planning expenses, reduced bid revenues, and increased environmental damage incurring future restoration costs.
- Logging after fires is a misplaced priority. Since Congress passed the Healthy Forest Restoration Act in 2003 no projects have been fully completed under the new authorities nor has Congress adequately funded needed community protection activities. Instead of passing new legislation promoting controversial post-disturbance logging, Congress should fund community protection efforts to safeguard lives and homes and the Forest Service should use its existing authorities to complete the priority work necessary to protect communities from fire.
What: Tele press conference
Who: Scientists, County Commissioner, Former Forest Service Official and Conservationist
When: November 1, 2005 at 12:30 pm
For a copy of the report or information about the telephone press conference, please contact Steve Holmer, 202/429-2647, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Dix, 202/547-9105, email@example.com