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Lack of forest logging to blame for fires

Herald and News letter to editor by Joseph Smith, Chemult 7/9/13

     An article in Saturdayís paper reported scientists working with the National Interagency Fire Center are perplexed about why catastrophic forest fires have been steadily increasing in size and intensity since the 1980s.  

   I canít tell whether these scientists are ignorant, or whether they just havenít done their homework. The 1980s signaled the end of most logging on public lands, due in large part to (flawed) scientific studies at the time, and public outcry that such a step was necessary to protect and preserve our forests for future generations. People failed to understand that trees are living organisms, and as such, they die from old age, disease, and insect infestations.

   Without harvesting mature and diseased trees, our forests have become incendiary time bombs waiting to blow up when the conditions are right.

   Those of us in the timber industry tried to warn people of the danger, but our industryís scientific studies were scoffed at, and generations of experience ignored. Now, we all are paying the price, and for some, it is far too steep.  

   By the way, Iím still waiting for just one environmentalist, one environmental group, or anyone else who played an active or sedentary role in stopping logging to save the spotted owl, to come forward and publicly protest the illegal marijuana grows in our national forests, national parks, and Native American Indian reservations, after itís been proven the pesticides used on these grows are killing spotted owls and fishers.

   Nothing invalidates a ďscientificĒ study quicker than using it as an argument for something you are against, and then disregarding it when the same argument is against something you favor.



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