Following last year's Rim Fire in California's Stanislaus National Forest, the Forest Service recently issued a new proposal for managing the area's trees. But instead of choosing to conserve burned forest and maintain the Sierra's biodiversity, the agency has done just the opposite -- it proposes to log more than 44,000 acres of this rare habitat.
Normally the largest and oldest trees in our national forests are off limits to logging, but there's one big loophole: After a fire mature forest can essentially be clearcut, on the outdated rationale that it no longer serves a biological purpose.
Decades of science have shown that burned forest is essential to maintaining biodiversity. Black-backed woodpeckers, olive-sided flycatchers, mule deer, mountain bluebirds, pallid bats, fox sparrows and spotted owls are just a few of the many species that thrive in burned forests like those created by the Rim Fire.
When allowed to naturally regenerate on their own, burned areas teem with life. Wildflowers follow wildfires, goes the saying -- and dead, burned trees provide critical food and homes to woodpeckers and other animals.
Take action and tell the Forest Service to protect, not log, the post-fire wildlife habitat created by the Rim Fire.
May 30, 2014 Action Alert ID# 149
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