Environmental Laws, Forest Go Hand In Hand

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Editor:

The Forest Service is claiming that environmental studies should be set aside on the Rodeo-Chediski logging sale because that burned forest might catch fire once its trees fall. Since it may take some ten years for ponderosa trees to fall, that certainly allows time for those studies, whether or not one believes that "re-burn" hokum!

More importantly, logging burned trees removes vital ingredients needed for the next generation of the forest's trees, plant and animal life. After falling to the ground, fungi, molds, bacteria, and insects break down these fallen trees creating the fertilizer and topsoil indispensable to the next forest.

Already this forest has been logged 7-8 times. Each logging further depletes the soil's nutrients. Also, logging machinery erodes topsoil, causes stream pollution, and harms fish and wildlife.

These burned trees become smorgasbords for woodpeckers, invaluable perches for hawks and birds, and homes for cavity nesting birds, bats and mammals. After falling, they create jackstraw patterns, creating check dams holding soils intact. Additionally, they provide cover and homes for wildlife, and shade for sun-intolerant conifer seedlings and plantlife.

Healthy forest ecosystems and environmental laws go hand in hand.

Bob Rhodes, Scottsdale

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