Logging Old Growth Forests Can Reduce Wildfires

Letter by Richard Chase, Pfafftown, N.C.
The Wall Street Journal
January 3, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

My 40-year career in the U.S. Forest Service leads me to believe that your editorial “Biden’s New Forest Plan Will Backfire” is correct. Banning the harvest of timber on 25 million acres of “old growth” forest will have the direct opposite effect on carbon emissions that the Biden administration wants by precluding the effective protection of those lands from devastating wildfires. These are forests that have reached and gone beyond active growth and have begun to decline and decay. …The onset of this stage both significantly nullifies the forest’s ability to take up and store carbon dioxide and increases the risk of large wildfires… Logging mature forests allows new stands of rapidly growing—and carbon dioxide-storing—young trees to grow. Younger forests have lower fire risk since logging removes the fire-hazardous woody material and improves access for fire suppression forces should an ignition occur. This is responsible, scientifically sound forest management. [A Wall Street Journal subscription may be required to access this full story]

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