KFA In The News
Klamath Basin News
Klamath River News
Study Questions Value of Post-Fire
Letter To The Editor, High Country News
January 25, 2006
Kudos to OSU graduate student Daniel Donato for having the
courage to challenge the forestry mafia at Oregon State University (“Study questions value of post-fire
logging” HCN, 2/6/06). The problem with foresters and forestry schools is that they do not provide a
balanced education. That’s because they were created and are funded by the timber industry. Those whose
ideas diverge from a narrow focus on fiber production are rarely allowed to advance to professorships.
On the topic of whether salvage logging increases or reduces future risk of high intensity fire, the evidence is clear that neither “side” of the debate really
wants to know the answer. If we did, we would not be looking and arguing over the Biscuit Fire. Instead we
would walk or drive a few miles to the North or South. Just over the ridges beyond the Biscuit Fire Area
can be found a number of the large fires that burned under similar conditions in 1987 and 1994.
Fire Area to the North and the Dillon, Grider-Lake and other fire areas to the South - now more than ten
years post-fire - are the perfect place to observe and compare the results of natural and industrial
post-fire “recovery”. I’d suggest the Grider-Lake fire area which is readily accessible except in winter.
The Walker Creek watershed was intensively salvage logged and replanted; the Grider Creek watershed –
including the Pacific Crest Trail corridor - was protected from salvage logging as the result of a
lawsuit. In most of Grider Creek natural “recovery” has been ongoing. Which watershed is healthier; which
watershed has greater fire risk? I challenge Messers Salwasser, Sessions, Donato and DellaSalla to go
there to find out. I’d be happy to offer my services as guide.Felice Pace
Formerly Conservation Director for the Klamath Forest Alliance, the author has walked and studied all the
big fires in the Klamath Mountains since 1987. He was the architect of the lawsuit known as Marble
Mountain Audubon v Rice which stopped salvage logging in the Grider Creek Roadless Area after the 1987
Grider-Lake Fire Complex.In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and as defined under
the provisions of "fair use", any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment for
non-profit research and for educational use by our membership.