Let’s fight forest fires with fire, thinning and ecological restoration!
Forest fires this summer were a major bummer because nobody likes to breathe smoke. Fire is as natural to Oregon forests as rain. We will always live with it. What can we do about it?
We can restore forests with prescribed fire if we tolerate a little smoke in the off-season to avoid a lot in summer. Thinning can be part of the solution as well. Ashland offers a good example of collaborative restoration using prescribed fire and thinning. That’s not enough for Greg Walden, who spins our discomfort with smoke as license to log big trees on public land without environmental review. Walden also proposed logging in the Columbia River Gorge, which has no ecological purpose.
Firefighting has cost more than $2 billion this year. It would cost less to dump cash money from air tankers onto flames than to fly them. Ecological restoration is a better investment in the long run.LINKS
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection, Congressional Research Service, 2012 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30755.pdf