Staff Articles

Feinstein, Brown Promote Misinformed and Destructive Logging Programs

March 8, 2016
By Chad Hanson, Ph.D.
Earth Island Journal Online
Latest News

Dead trees in our forests do not increase fire risk, they create rare and extremely biodiverse habitat necessary for the health of our forests and California wildlife. While politicians such as Senator Feinstein and Governor Brown are using natural processes such as fire and increases in native bark beetle populations to propose tax payer funded increases in logging across State and Federal lands, the science is telling us this is the wrong way to go.

Clearcuts for Christmas?

December 7, 2015
By Chad Hanson
Earth Island Journal: Latest News

When Americans think about the presents they want for the Holidays, clearcuts on our national forests and other federal public lands is not what they have in mind. But that is exactly what radical, anti-environmental members of Congress are proposing to do right now — make a generous gift to the logging industry.

Destructive Logging “Rider” Looms in Congress

December 4, 2015
By Chad Hanson
Soap Box on EarthTalk.Org

It is a cynical rule of politics that, if you get people sufficiently scared and confused, many can be persuaded to agree to some of the worst and most irresponsible ideas. Case in point, the threat that has emerged this week from Senate Republicans . . .

Changing the Conversation About Fire

November 12, 2015
By Dominick DellaSala, Chad Hanson and Tim Inglesbee
ELSEVIER SciTech Connect Blog

As two forest ecologists and a firefighter, we view forests as a dynamic ecosystem, see fire as nature’s circle of life, and promote coexistence with backcountry fires rather than relentlessly fighting them. While the news media and Congress each year proclaim burnt forests from Yellowstone to the Sierra and Cascade Mountains as unprecedented catastrophes, we see nature’s remarkable resilience at work. We seek a rational conversation especially now as fire season has died down.

Another View: Forests recover from fires without clearcutting

October 22, 2015
By Chad Hanson, Ph.D.
Sacramento Bee Editorial

The timber industry makes a lot of money clear-cutting our national forests after fires, so it’s no surprise that it takes some liberties with the facts.
The logging industry claims that where fires burn most intensely, the forest does not naturally regenerate, suggesting that post-fire logging is needed to generate revenue for artificial tree planting. This is a myth. Scientific studies consistently find vigorous natural regeneration of conifers and oaks in high-intensity fire patches. . .

Forest Policy Reform That Will Make A Difference

September 29, 2015

By Rachel Fazio
Letter to the Editor
Independent Republic Newspaper
Helena, Montana

A few questions a recent article on forest policy reforms didn't raise or answer. Can we stop the largest fires? No, these fires are weather driven and only become containable when the weather changes. Can we prevent fires by massively increasing logging? No -- see answer above -- . . .

Forest ‘thinning’ is not the answer

September 18, 2015

By Christy Sherr
The Union: Other Voices

Two Republican bills being considered by Congress are using the public’s fear and misunderstanding of wildland fire to mount one of the most extreme attacks on our national forests in history.

Both bills would suspend or weaken federal environmental laws and clear the way for the timber industry to dramatically increase commercial logging under the guise of “forest treatment” or “thinning.”

Coexist with fire

August 20, 2015
By Rachel Fazio
Bend Bulletin Letter to the Editor

I know, fires are burning, people are scared. It is a natural reaction, but it should not be the basis for more failed congressional policy.

Wildfires are natural - yes even in Oregon. When conditions are hotter and drier. . .

Fire Has Ecological Benefits

July 30, 2015
By Rachel Fazio
Union Democrat Letter to the Editor

I read the July 25, 2015, article “Local consensus: Thin overgrown forests” with equal parts fascination and dismay. Two of the parties interviewed describe themselves as ecologists and yet they failed to recognize all the ecosystem benefits of wildfire . .

NEW YORK TIMES Op-Ed: More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires

July 23, 2015
By Chad T. Hanson and Dominick A. DellaSala

[I]t is fire season again in the West and, predictably, House Republicans have approved a bill that would suspend environmental laws to increase logging in our national forests falsely claiming the legislation will reduce fire risk and "restore" our forests, when in fact it will do neither.