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US Forest Service Moves to Start Clearcutting in Rim Fire Area – August 28, 2014

Massive logging proposal threatens many spotted owls, currently thriving in the fire-affected acres of Stanislaus National Forest

The US Forest Service issued a draft decision yesterday for a massive post-fire logging project in the Stanislaus National Forest portion of the 2013 California Rim Fire, which covered 257,171 acres on the national forest and Yosemite National Park. A final, signed decision on the proposal is expected this afternoon. 

regenerating underbush in California Rim Fire areaPhoto by Chad HansonA carpet of lupines covered this large high-intensity fire patch in the Rim Fire area this spring, showing that forest is regenerating naturally.

The draft decision proposes over 37,000 acres of intensive post-fire logging, which would remove the majority of the rarest and most ecologically… more

by: Chad Hanson

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The Yosemite Rim Fire Revisited – June 3, 2014

The forest is coming back to life; Forest Service plan to log there is a bad idea

After the massive Rim Fire occurred last year in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park of California’s Sierra Nevada, representatives from the U.S. Forest Service fanned the flames of fear and misunderstanding regarding wildland fire. In a news article published shortly after the fire was contained, a Forest Service official claimed that a 38,000-acre area was a “moonscape” that had been “nuked” by the Rim Fire, creating a lifeless environment where soils had been sterilized and nothing would grow. (By the time it was contained, the Rim Fire had affected 257,171 acres.) The Forest Service also claimed the high-severity burn covered some 63,000 acres and… more

by: Chad Hanson

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The Ecological Importance of California’s Rim Fire – August 28, 2013

Large, intense fires have always been a natural part of fire regimes in Sierra Nevada forests

Since the Rim fire began in the central Sierra Nevada on August 17, there has been a steady stream of fearful, hyperbolic, and misinformed reporting in much of the media. The fire, which is currently 188,000 acres in size and covers portions of the Stanislaus National Forest and the northwestern corner of Yosemite National Park, has been consistently described as “catastrophic”, “destructive”, and “devastating.” One story featured a quote from a local man who said he expected “nothing to be left”. However, if we can, for a moment, set aside the fear, the panic, and the decades of misunderstanding about wildland fires in our forests, it turns out that the… more

by: Chad Hanson

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