The U.S. Forest Service says salvage logging, or the removal of dead trees, is needed following last

[Location: Groveland, CA] [Source: AP] [Video: Rim Fire file footage] IT WAS THE LARGEST WILDFIRE EVER RECORDED IN CALIFORNIA’S SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS….BURNING MORE THAN 400 SQUARE MILES.
(quick fire nats)
NOW ONE YEAR LATER…THOUSANDS OF TREES BURNED BY THE RIM FIRE ARE STARTING TO COME DOWN.
(tree cutting montage)
THE US FOREST SERVICE IS ALLOWING SALVAGE LOGGING TO REMOVE DEAD TREES IT SAYS POSE BOTH A CONTINUED FIRE HAZARD AND A SAFETY RISK FOR DRIVERS AND CAMPERS.
[SOT/Matt Armstrong/Logger] (“It’s just gonna fall over. It’ll take time depending on the winter and that kind of stuff. But you’ve got hundreds of miles of road out here that the public can use and if they don’t do anything about it, it’s just going to be a mess.”)
BUT ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY OFFICIALS ARE ONLY ACTING OUT OF FINANCIAL INTEREST AND SHOULD LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE.
[SOT/Chad Hanson/Ecologist – John Muir Project] (“The fire actually created really important habitat. The fire actually did some important things ecologically that are improving wildlife habitat. But that’s all going to be taken away by the post-fire logging proposal.”)
ECOLOGISTS SAY PLANTS SPROUTING ON THE FOREST FLOOR ATTRACT INSECTS AND BEETLES LAYING EGGS IN DEAD TREES PROVIDE FOOD FOR DECLINING BIRD POPULATIONS.
[SOT/Chad Hanson/Ecologist – John Muir Project] (“The spotted owls are occupying this fire at very, very high levels right now after the fire. But if the logging starts, that’s going to stop very rapidly.”)
BUT SUPPORTERS OF SALVAGE LOGGING SAY IT CREATES JOBS AND MUCH NEEDED REVENUE FOR FOREST REPLANTING AND FUTURE FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS.
[SOT/Matt Armstrong/Logger] (“Now at least they’re making some kind of revenue to cover the cost of getting rid of it and cover some of the firefighting cost it took to start the whole thing to begin with.”)
WIDE-SCALE SALVAGE LOGGING IS SET TO BEGIN HERE LATER THIS MONTH.
WILDLIFE ADVOCATES SAY THEY MAY TURN TO THE COURTS TO TRY TO STOP IT.
HAVEN DALEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, GROVELAND, CALIFORNIA.

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