Post-fire logging in Hastings bill is opposed by 250 experts

Rim Fire recovery
A recent photograph of an area in the Rim Fire that burned in and near Yosemite National Park this summer. InciWeb photo.

A bill introduced by Representative Doc Hastings that passed the House would require in some cases salvage logging after fires, would eliminate or reduce environmental restrictions in those projects, and prohibit legal challenges. An editorial in the New York Times has come out against the bill and 250 fire, forestry, and ecology experts have signed a letter opposing it. Below is the first paragraph in the letter:


Open Letter to Members of Congress from 250 Scientists
Concerned about Post-fire Logging
October 30, 2013

As professional scientists with backgrounds in ecological sciences and natural resources management, we are greatly concerned that post-disturbance legislation addressed in HR 1526, which passed the House in September 2013, would suspend federal environmental protections to expedite and increase logging of post-fire habitat and mandate increased commercial logging of unburned forests on national forests. In addition, HR 3188, as currently proposed in the House, would override federal environmental laws to mandate post-fire clearcutting operations in national forests, Yosemite National Park, and designated Wilderness areas within the 257,000-acre Rim fire on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. Both bills ignore the current state of scientific knowledge, which indicates that such activity would seriously undermine the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems on federal lands…”