dc    Neighbors & Nature Forum  
Message - more than fire suppression...
    Neighbors & Nature Forum | Green Design Forum | FoE Forum | DesignCommunity

Posted by  Kevin Matthews on July 02, 2002 at 00:09:03:

Dear PBS NewsHour,

Thank you for the coverage Monday (2002.0701) on the background of recent superfires in the western U.S. I look forward to seeing part two on Tuesday.

In your coverage so far, one enormous historical factor seems to have gone mostly unmentioned. Generations of clearcut logging across the west have fundamentally altered the forests in ways that dramatically increase the potential for very intense fires.

Intact mature forests dominated by old growth trees have a natural structure of widely spaced large trees and reduced forest floor vegetation. In contrast, forests regrowing after clearcutting are typically made up of many closely spaced trees of similar small size and age, presenting acre after acre of standing tinder. The suggested silvacultural practices of thinning and maintenance burns may be considered to be only approximately restoring the naturally fire-resistant structural pattern of mature forest, yet without the same degree of moisture retention (or biodiversity).

When the comprehensive effects of repeated harvest cycles on fire susceptibility are fully considered, the long term impact of repeated clearcutting may turn out to be a larger factor than fire suppression per se in creating the conditions for dangerous and destructive superfires.


Kevin Matthews
Citizens Nature Project
Eugene, Oregon


Follow Up Messages:

Post a Follow Up Message -




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

Friends        DesignCommunity        Architecture Forum        3D CAD Forum        Environmental Design        GameSpace        Search
© 1999-2002 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.  This document is provided for on-line viewing only.