Tuesday, December 04, 2018

U.S. Forest Service under fire for cutting old-growth trees in eastern Arizona

The decision to cut more than 1,300 old-growth trees last summer in an eastern Arizona forest has been criticized for breaking trust with the thinning project’s backers. The rebuke comes at a time when forest management is receiving national attention for its role in preventing catastrophic wildfires, such as those last month in California. The Forest Service cut the old trees in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest for fear of losing more of them to dwarf mistletoe, a parasitic plant. But only 6 percent of the trees sampled were infested, according to data collected by Joe Trudeau with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Four Forests Restoration Initiative. The Four Forest Restoration Initiative is a partnership that includes the Forest Service, the Arizona Game & Fish Department and the Grand Canyon Trust. The goal is to restore 2.4 million acres of ponderosa stretching across northern Arizona from the Grand Canyon to the New Mexico line. The restoration group’s stakeholders had toured the area and later sent a letter to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest supervisor, Steve Best, calling the approach to cut down so many large trees a “great concern.”...MORE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The FS has always wanted to cut all of the old growth Ponderosa pine because of the high dollar return to the logging industry for this type of timber. Mistletoe does not kill old growth. It may cause deformity in branches or sometimes at the growing tip of the tree. But nothing kills old growth faster than stupid policies which restrict the control of forest pests or the use of a chain saw. Gone are the days of good forest management, here are the days of used oats science. We can thank our colleges for this disgrace.