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Letter to to Editor: Support the Forest Service timber project

Many thanks to Josh Hart for the timely notice, and for the contact info to comment on the “extreme logging program planned for the Plumas National Forest.”  With five days to spare, I conveyed my whole-hearted approval of the project.  Since it would help to supply much needed lumber in a state suffering a terrible housing shortage, provide local employment, and open up thickly-growing timber stands enabling fire-fighters to do their jobs in the coming years, I see the proposed project as a win-win-win situation.

Hart makes a reference to Chad Hanson’s “Smokescreen” claiming that strong winds and heat-driven catastrophic fires.  And alleging that “overgrown forests” contributing to the difficulty in suppressing wildfires is a “logging industry myth.”  Try keeping your woodstove going next winter with zero cords of wood.  No fuel=no fire; got it?  The theory that extremely thick forest growth would somehow slow a fire is easily debunked. The crown of that section of forest would have to be impermeable to embers, and the foliage would need to grow so thick as to exclude all oxygen.  Inciweb reports from August 2021 often-reported relative humidity levels in the single digits, also reported were evenings with no expectation of overnight humidity recovery. After years of (likely climate-change caused) drought there was very, very, little humidity available, how could a thickly growing area of forest hope to slow a fire?

One more problem with thickly-growing forest is that the retardant, or the water dropped from planes, can lodge in the foliage, the same effect as last winter’s snow resting on the branches.  Unfortunately, the fire consuming dried grass and brush can pull a Frank Gore and gain substantial yardage down below.  But, thanks again for the timely notice and the contact info.

Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills

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