New study finds salvage logging bad for burned forests

The timber industry and Bush administration officials contend that salvage logging post-wildfire is the quickest path to reforestation, but a new study refutes that claim. Published in Science, it found that logging of burned trees after the 2002 Biscuit fire in Oregon — the biggest wildfire that year in the U.S. — killed about 70 percent of newly sprouted seedlings. After the Biscuit fire, enviro groups battled the Bush administration in federal court to limit salvage logging, but lost. Now greens hope the new study will help them make their case against bills in Congress that would speed up approval for salvage logging after wildfires.