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We’re here to help you! The logging industry is blaming the increased number of severe forest fires in Oregon during the past three years on the federal ban on logging in federal forests.
Logging on federal lands was first limited in the early 90’s. More severe limits on logging on any roadless federal land were then passed by President Bill Clinton in 2000, essentially ending the practice on federal lands.
[Andrew Miller, CEO of Stimson Lumber, one of the state’s largest lumber companies] said this was a huge mistake. “As soon as the ban on logging took effect, fire conditions worsened,” he said. “Four or five years after the ban was put in place fires started to really ramp up.” The reason for the increase is simple, he said. When logging in these areas stopped, more and more trees began to fill the lands. These trees, particularly ones that have died and become dried out, rather than be chopped down by a logging company, give the fire easily combustible fuel. “Once logging was stopped the forests got older and older and more and more trees died off,” Miller said.
The article is well written, and includes a response by a Forest Service official, who dismissed the lack of logging as the cause and instead blamed the increase in fires to extreme weather and less snowfall in the western states.
I am willing to bet that a close look at the weather in the Northwest will find that the only extreme weather they have seen in the past three years has been snow, contradicting the Forest Service official’s claim. I do not know this, and could easily be wrong, but I am still willing to bet.