Harvesting Trees Will Prevent Fires
by H. Sterling Burnett
July 12, 2012
Source: The New York Times
While wildfires, per se, are entirely natural, the size, intensity and harm caused annually by the past decade’s forest fires are almost entirely of human origin: federal mismanagement of our national forests are to blame.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 190 million acres of public land are at risk of catastrophic fires, including 60 percent our national forests. Too many trees, too much brush, and bureaucratic regulations and lawsuits filed by environmental extremists are to blame. Timber harvests have plunged more than 75 percent from 12 billion board feet per year to less than 4 billion board feet per year. The result: historically large ponderosa pines which grew in stands of 20 to 55 trees per acre now grow (and burn) in densities of 300 to 900 trees per acre.