The group discusses the timetable for making changes that will help with forest fire management. Re-educating the public on how forest management works and the importance of mechanical harvest for fuel reduction could help people to better understand the issue.
Archives for August 2012
Fire has been a major topic of discussion this summer. We got together a panel to discuss the issue of built up fuel in the forest. It turns out that part of the issue is that we have done such a good job of preventing fire, that more fuel is available to burn. The discussion looks into an increase in harvesting the timber from the woods as a way to cut down on available fuel to burn.
The conversation about fuel on the forest continues with a discussion about policy. Have the more protective policies restricted the harvest of the forest and has the absence of logging contributed to worse fires?
While harvesting may help the forest, it’s not the only answer.
Invasive weeds have become a real problem in creating increased wild fire danger in that they are very flammable and they clear out the native plant species.
The problems we are seeing now are related to the lack of fire on the landscape. The forest used to burn more before it was managed. As a result there is more available to burn.
So why not harvest some of the timber and put it to use rather than managing for fire?
Utah has lost a lot of the infrastructure for logging. At this point maintaining what we have is the place to start, and then building upon that. The problem is that industry can not get a guarantee that policy will allow an on-going harvest of the forest. As a result of the risk industry often looks to other places for the resources they need.