(p. A3) FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR, Calif.–Obscured amid the chaos of California’s latest wildfire outbreak is a striking sign of change that may help curtail future devastating infernos. After decades of butting heads, some environmentalists and logging supporters have largely come to agreement that forests need to be logged to be saved.
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The Camp Fire and the 98,400-acre Woolsey Fire in Southern California were fueled by fierce winds in unusually dry weather, which turned much of the state into a tinderbox.
Another dangerous factor, land-management experts say, is that forests have become overgrown with trees and underbrush due to a mix of human influences, including a past federal policy of putting out fires, rather than letting them burn. Washington has also sharply reduced logging under pressure from environmentalists.
Now, the unlikely coalition is pushing new programs to thin out forests and clear underbrush. In 2017, California joined with the U.S. Forest Service and other groups in creating the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, which aims to thin millions of trees from about 2.4 million acres of forest–believed to be the largest such state-federal project in the country.
For the full story, see:
Jim Carlton. “Deadly Fires Shift View of Logging.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018): A3.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the same date and has the title “Facing Deadlier Fires, California Tries Something New: More Logging.” The last quoted sentence is the slightly shorter version that appeared in the print version.)