Ashland, OR. - The U.S. Forest Service's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which calls for the logging of more than 370 million board feet in areas damaged by the 2002 Biscuit Fire, does little to prevent property loss resulting from forest fires and will not provide enough economic or ecological benefits to justify the decision.
Dominick DellaSala, director of the World Wildlife Fund's Klamath-Siskiyou Regional Program in Ashland, Oregon, says that the decision reflects an extreme and irresponsible alternative that entails the unnecessary logging of ancient forest reserves and roadless areas.
"We need to put people on the ground to reconstruct the forest, not deconstruct it," said DellaSala. "Logging projects should be limited to areas close to developments and in existing timber plantations. These are the areas where people live and work and where they are more likely to be exposed to the risk of wildfire."
The conservation community has offered a sound alternative that the Forest Service has simply ignored. Specifically, WWF supports a plan that allows logging projects to move ahead if they stay out of ancient forest reserves and roadless areas, creates more than 400 new jobs in watershed restoration activities, and promotes thinning and fuel treatments where it is needed most - in and around towns and homes.