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Save America's Forests - Forest Fire Information




Dr. Arthur Partridge, Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho, and the nation's leading expert on forests diseases and insects, delivers testimony to United States Senate Agriculture Committe, debunking the so-called forest fire crisis. Dr. Partridge took the lead in exposing the fraudulent salvage rider in 1995. Now he delivers the facts about the forest fire issue. Read his testimony here.


Back in 1994, five of America's leading expert scientists in the field of forest ecology and forest fires wrote this letter to the President, the Congress, and the U.S. Forest Service. The scientists' message against salvage logging was simple and clear. In their own words,

"We know of no scientific reason to engage in salvage logging or roadbuilding in burned areas and we know of many sound reasons not to."

Scientifically, this remains true in 2009, and will be so in 3009.

Unfortunately, the timber industry and its allies continue to promote salvage logging. Their vehicle in 2005 was the Walden salvage logging legislation, H.R. 4200. It would have removed environmental protections that exist for our beleaguered public forest lands in order to promote more ecologically destructive logging on our national forests for the sake of private timber industry profits.

Salvage logging is a fraud. It does not restore forests, it destroys them.

Save America's Forests opposes legislation that promotes salvage logging on our national forests.

Read their letter here.




Save America's Forests and 13 other groups opposed House fire legislation in 2002 in a letter to the House Resources Committee disagreeing with the need for a new fire bill that accelerated logging. The letter pointed out the fraudulent nature of this 'healthy forests' bill.


INFORMATION ON FIRE-Articles and Fact Sheets

IMPORTANT Two Articles-Scientists say nation's largest fires in the summer of 2003 were GOOD

Oregon-Eugene Register Guard-
President Bush flew out to Oregon this summer to announce his new policy to fight fires. Bush declared a forest fire emergency, and said his new policy would be to fight a new war against fire. He said that his goal was to put out forest fires before they start.

But shortly afterwards, scientists examined the Biscuit fire in Oregon, the largest in the nation this summer, and declared, contrary to Bush and the timber industry, that the fire was ecologically not only good, but necessary. In the long run [the fire] maintained the well-being of individual species and the forest as a whole, said Tom Atzet, the U.S. Forest Service ecologist for southwestern Oregon. "The worst thing that we could have is to be so enamored of our forests that we eliminate the processes that change them," Atzet said.

Los Angeles Times-
Scientists look at after affects of this summer's fires in Sequoia National Forest, the Oregon Fire above, and other fires. The assessment is that the fires are good. "It's coming back already. In three years, it probably will look great."

"Even in the Arizona and Colorado wildfires...large portions of the burned areas escaped without great environmental damage.. About half of the land in the 138,000 - acre Hayman fire, the largest in Colorado history, was lightly burned or unburned, according to the Forest Service. 'It has thinned the smaller trees that would lead to overcrowded stand density,' said Ken Kanaan, a soil scientist who is heading the fire's emergency rehabilitation effort. '[That] looks like just what we'd like to see if we had done a controlled burn in the area.' "

  1. Thrice Burned
    Editorial from the largest paper in Oregon, The Oregonian, which is generally moderate and favorable to the timber industry. Despite the timber industry drumbeat for logging the national forests to "fireproof them", this editorial points out the difficult truth that "..there is no fireproofing Central Oregon, or much of the arid West."

  2. Expect fire of words once flames die down
    Op-ed article by Dr. Robert Beschta and J. Boone Kauffman published in The Oregonian. This article explains the report on salvage logging by a team of leading scientists, known as the Beschta Report, which says that so-called "salvage logging", logging after a fire, is generally destructive to the forests recovery from the fire, not helpful or neutral as the timber industry claims. It criticizes the Forest Service for not following the recommendations of the report, and instead for attacking it.

  3. The Beschta Report--Wildfire and Salvage Logging:
    Recommendations for Ecologically Sound Post-Fire Salvage Management and Other Post-Fire Treatments On Federal Lands in the West by Robert Beschta et al.

    Also known as the Beschta Report, this paper gives scientifically based recommendations on how best to protect ecosystems and preserve species and challenges the need for salvage logging and post salvage treatment.

    From the Beschta report..."Rather than focusing on fires -- before or after their occurrence-- managers should focus on the pattern and consequences of current and proposed human manipulations and disturbances of all types at the landscape level."

  4. Reducing the Wildland Fire Threat to Homes: Where and How Much?
    Jack Cohen, research scientist at the Fire Sciences Laboratory in the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station, presented this paper at the Fire Economics Symposium in San Diego, California on April 12, 1999. His research found that homes and buildings can be protected by making them from fire-proof materials and cutting the brush and trees adjacent to the homes. His findings disprove the arguments by the timber industry for increased public lands logging, road-building, and grazing as alleged means of protecting private homes from wildfires.

  5. Fire Information Sheet by the Utah Environmental Congress
    Debunks many false statements made by President Bush about forest fires in the West.

  6. OMB 2003 Budget Report Excerpt
    Says that in many cases it would be cheaper for the federal government to let many structures burn and pay for the costs of rebuilding than to pay to fight the forest fires.

  7. H.R. 5319 Sponsor-Representative Scott McInnis (R-CO)
    The Bush Fire Plan -offered as a bill in the House of Representatives -
    A timber industry bill that effectively removes the environmental laws from the national forest system. You can read the bill by clicking on the link

    H.R. 5319 describes its purpose:
    To improve the capacity of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to expeditiously address wildfire prone conditions on National Forest System lands and other public lands that threaten communities, watersheds, and other at-risk landscapes through the establishment of expedited environmental analysis procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, to establish a predecisional administrative review process for the Forest Service, to expand fire management contracting authorities, to authorize appropriations for hazardous fuels reduction projects, and for other purposes. "Healthy Forests Reform Act of 2002"




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