Montana: More on loggers with no-brains claiming logging Beetle kill is a no-brainer

The December 15th Great Falls Tribune editorial by Ellen “No Brainer”
Simpson of the Montana Woods Products Industry titled “Red and Dead”
reminds me of the scare tactics of the Cold War Era when “better dead
than Red” was the motto of some right wing fear mongers. Throughout
her editorial she used fear of fire as her major theme and asserted
that it was a “no brainer” that logging was the cure. Towns are going
to burn down if we don’t log the forests. People are going to be
unemployed if we don’t log the forest. Hikers will be hit by fallen
trees if we don’t log the forests.

More than that, she demonstrated
that she didn’t use her brain or at least isn’t aware of some of the
recent research on beetles, wildfire, and thinning. It is only the
ignorant or those with an agenda to profit from logging that sees
wildfire and/or beetle killed forests as “unhealthy”. Unfortunately
there is a lot of ignorance being spewed forth by the timber industry
trying to exploit fear of fires and beetles. As is typically the case
in ecology, the truth is often the opposite of what seems intuitive.
(Remember the world does appear flat.) Contrary to what might seem
obvious, logging forests does not stop the kinds of large fires she
envisions will engulf Montana communities. Climate, not fuels, drives
large fires. Under conditions of extreme drought, low humidity, high
temperatures and high winds, fires are unstoppable. It doesn’t matter
whether you have thinned, or even clearcut the land, any residual
vegetation will burn and burn well.

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

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