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What’s coming down the pike regarding climate change will simply nullify any efforts at forest management. A policy of thinning ultimately will become one of cutting before it burns–at which point, one can justify pointing anywhere and cutting anything. To stop huge wild fires requires having the means to stop them when they are still small–this requires a vastly larger, efficient fleet of firefighting aircraft–an investment of taxes and government support and training that will be less than the potential costs of coming property and resource destruction by fire.
PRINTGiven that the bulk of all redwoods are on private lands, why do we need to “experiment” with the few public forests? If logging is so good for redwoods, let the Save the Redwoods demonstrate that on the private lands. (Of course, fire severity has already been shown to be more severe on “actively” managed private lands–but STR is ignoring this research) If we log the public lands as well–where is the “control”. I might also note that the 1910 burn mentioned in this article occurred before there was any effective “fire suppression” the rationale given for logging. If you could get 3.5 million-acre burn back then, how can you argue that “fuels” are the problem? The 1910 burn occurred during a severe drought combined with high winds–the climate-weather driven kind of extreme fire weather that drives all large fires–regardless of fuels. The Save the Redwoods uses the fact that there are 100 million trees dead in the Sierra Nevada to show that “management” is needed. But perspective is lacking. There are 30 million acres in the Sierra Nevada. That works out to a couple of trees per acre which is nothing. Of course, that mortality isn’t evenly distributed, but 100 million dead trees is really not a problem, not to mention dead trees are important to forest ecosystems, and if you argue as they do that there are too many trees, well natural mortality is thinning the forest without chainsaws.
I think we should leave the redwoods to God. He knows how to care for them & what to do with them. We humans don’t know anything? Leave them be!
It takes 700-2000 years to re-grow an original redwood forest, which doesn’t mean we will restore it’s original ecology. Ecosystems of that far off time in the future will be much different than the ones white settlers destroyed.
What’s most infuriating is the basic fact that you don’t solve a problem with exact same mindset that created the problem in the first place.
To still have a redwood forest on a patch of ground 700 years from now means that forest will have withstood centuries of windstorms, floods, fires and drought, which requires a lot of trees to start with. Thinning never accounts for how much destruction that forest has to survive in coming centuries.
Of even greater ignorance is that sudden oak death will destroy a forest when truth is that fate was started by thinning, or neglected tree farms that regrew as hardwoods (tan oak) instead of redwoods after clearcutting.
There’s few places you can see how beneficial sudden oak death can be because there are so few un-managed forest that still remain.
One of those places is Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park which regrew from 19th century logging mostly on its own and contains a rare diversity of tree species. A one of the first locations sudden oak death was detected a 1/4 century later you can walk through this forest and see how the die back of tan oaks and other oaks, lead to more room for other trees, plants and shrubs. In this case sudden oak death increased diversity and forest health.