Fire Is The Logger's Best Friend

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Editor:

Why is the Forest Service pushing the exemption of the Rodeo-Chediski salvage sale from environmental law? They claim it prevents the forest from re-igniting. In reality, once a forest burns, it is about as fireproof as it can get.

Wildfire is the logging industry's best friend here. In this exempt-from-law sale they will haul off over 3000 logging truckloads of old growth. This is not fire prevention. This is serving Bush's logging pals. Pinetop area residents opposed controlled burns because of the smoke. Governor Hull, in blocking those burns, won the hearts of the townspeople (except those whose homes burned), and the logging industry.

Smokey claims we must log every large tree up to half a mile from private property. After Smokey logs the big trees, the forest floor becomes a firetrap of flammable branches and logging slash. Smokey claims they can't remove the slash and small trees because Arizona has no chipping mills. Even worse, by sacrificing the big trees, they remove the decomposing nutrient biomass feeding the next forest generation. Imagine a farmer harvesting his crop and not fertilizing his next crop?

This dangerous, shortsighted logging operation demands the citizen oversight afforded by environmental law.

Elise Lauster, Phoenix

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