16. Logging – Fire Protection
425. Logging on National Forests INCREASES the risk of forest fires
more than any other human activity, according to the government’s own study.
426. Fire is a natural and beneficial part of ecosystems. Without
it, the ecosystem quickly degrades. But avoiding catastrophic fire risk is
often used to justify logging. Ironically, however, according to the
Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project Final Report to Congress, "Timber harvest,
through its affects on forest structure, local microclimate, and fuel accumulation,
has increased fire severity more than any other recent human activity."
427. Clearcutting can change fire climate so that fires start more
easily, spread faster, and burn hotter. If the intent is to seek the
most environmentally sound and cost effective means to reduce the fuel hazard
and fire risk, then the Forest Service should be instructed and fully funded
to implement understory prescribed burning without commercial logging.
The long-term goal should be full restoration of ecological processes, including
428. Logs become habitat for a variety of invertebrate species shortly
after falling. CWD is used by invertebrates as a source of food, for nesting
and brooding sites, for protection from predators and environmental extremes,
as a source of construction material, and as overwintering and hibernating
sites (Samuelsson et al. 1994) (Voller and Harrison, 1998).
429. Free-living bacteria in woody residues and soil wood fix 30-60%
of the nitrogen in the forest soil. In addition, 20% of soil nitrogen is
stored in these components (Harvey et al. 1987). Harmon et al. (1986) reported
that CWD accounted for as much as 45% of above-ground stores of organic matter.
Symplastless wood in terrestrial ecosystems is a primary location for fungal
colonization and often acts as refugia for mycorrhizal fungi during ecosystem
disturbance (Triska and Cromack 1979; Harmon et al. 1986; Caza 1993) (Voller
and Harrison, 1998).
430. An unbelievable story is the PHLIGHT OF THE KOALA’S.
Touch of Chemistry "
431. The plight of this partially blind koala is due to ignorance of
tree basics. Koalas eat the leaves of only about six species of Eucalyptus.
Man loved the koala’s so much, he built his homes close to the Eucalyptus
Groves because he wanted to be close to them. But, the Eucalyptus Groves
go up very fast and burn very hot. So, out of the ignorance of tree
biology, man dug fire trenches. In doing so, the trees were injured
below ground (woody and non-woody roots – for starters). When trees
are threatened or injured – they do something – they respond. Because
of the fire ditches to reduce the threat of fire and over development, most
of the leaves on the declining trees in the area tanned. Tanning is a chemical
process of combining phenol-based substances with proteins, and the disruption
of hydrogen bonds leaves the protein indigestible. In one sense the hydrogen
bonds, are held open by toothpicks. The enzymes of the koala would
enter to digest the leaves. Tanning is like, removing the toothpicks.
The animals ate and ate, but received little nutrition. Lots of moisture,
wet spot developed. A spirochete similar to syphilis entered and was
passed along by mating. Many koalas died. The good news is that development
in the area was not only stopped, but many developed areas will be returned
to their original state. See -
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