Catastrophic Fresh Wave of Logging Threatens US National Forests America’s national forests are not unhealthy. Some people may want forests to look a certain way, but that desire or perception ignores scientific research, which suggests that fungi, bacteria, insects, disease and wildfire are key components of forest function and resiliency. If you want a healthy forest, these natural processes must be allowed to play out. Efforts to ‘thin the threat’ and use thinning for ‘fire hazard reduction’ across Western landscapes is largely unsubstantiated in scientific literature. Recent studies suggest forests with stands of ‘dead trees’ are at no more risk of burning – and possibly less – than thinned forests. Dead trees generally burn slower because they do not have oil-rich needles or resins. To the contrary, thinning ‘live trees’ places fine fuels like needles and cones on the ground, and opens the forest canopy to greater solar penetration and wind, resulting in overall drier forest conditions and flammability.
Exposing the Truth Video This excellent video by the Native Forest Council presents a series of pictures taken from google earth showing the history of mismanagement that the USFS has wielded over the national forests under their control. A must see when looking at Forest Service History.
Forest industry’s ‘science’ means more logging Recent commentaries on public forest management in The Register-Guard by timber industry lobbyists say our forests should be managed with “science.” Their “science” comes from colleges of forestry influenced by timber corporations’ donations to see forests primarily as money, emphasizing clearcut logging and replanting, riparian logging, salvage logging, wildlife logging, fire prevention logging, forest health logging, restoration logging and — the latest forest science scam — logging for water.| According to the industry and its “scientific” institutes, whatever’s missing, wrong or weak in our forests can be made whole, fixed or strengthened with more logging. This isn’t science; it’s dull-witted propaganda.
Who pays the costs of logging for bioenergy? Moreover, the notion that patches of forest dominated by snags are somehow destroyed or lost is so scientifically inaccurate that it’s an urban myth. Such areas are known by ecologists as “snag forest habitat,” and they are comparable to old-growth forest in terms of native biodiversity and wildlife abundance. Last year, more than 250 scientists urged Congress to oppose logging of snag forests, noting that they are “quite simply some of the best wildlife habitat in forests.”
Scientists to Bush: Stop Logging National Forests In this open letter to Bush, 221 scientist concur that thinning forests is a false solution to the forest fire issue: "It is now widely recognized that commercial logging has damaged ecosystem health, clean water, and recreational opportunities- values that are highly appreciated by the American public. The continued logging of our National Forests also wastes American tax dollars and diminishes the possibilities of future economic benefits."
Quietly Paving Paradise: How Bush Policies Still Threaten America's National Forests "While the Forest service justifies logging in these forests to contain the beetles, a recent scientific study that modeled beetle outbreak shows the opposite. The authors found a higher rate of tree mortality from beetle infestation in thinned forests versus forests that were left untouched. The findings even suggested an increased rate of wild fire in these thinned forests. Furthermore, roads and other disturbances exacerbate the spread of pathogens such as invasive species. logging and road building projects stress ecosystems by removing vegetation and allowing easier movement through the ecosystem by invasive species. These factors can increase chances of outbreak. Clearly, there is no strong scientific case that logging in roadless forests will address a beetle epidemic. instead, untouched forests have proven to be resilient when left to their natural processes."
Some Like It Hot: The Truth About Forest Fire "Fire hysteria also serves the US Forest Service because most of its funding is tied to fire-fighting and logging. Those US Forest Service employees who vilify severe fire and say that tree harvesting prevents fires or “restores” forests after a fire are operating in an organization that is too narrowly focused on trees as commodities—witness the November 7 announcement by the Stanislaus National Forest that they plan to salvage log and artificially replant the recently burned Rim Fire near Yosemite. Dozens of studies over the past two decades have shown that a severely burned forest is a living, thriving habitat that has always been a natural part of western forest ecosystems. Severely burned forests are filled with animals that feast on superabundant food, such as insects and seeds, created by the fire. Anyone with the opportunity to experience a severely burned forest like the Rim Fire is blessed with a cacophony of birdsong, the hum of insects, and a wildflower and pollinator show like nowhere else on the planet.
Don't Log or Replant The Rim Fire Burned Area "Hardly anyone rejoices when they hear of a catastrophic fire raging through a forest. And yet the fact is that the hottest, most severe fire is as ecologically necessary and beneficial for Western forests as rainfall or sunlight. The announcement Dec. 6 by the Stanislaus National Forest that it plans to plans to conduct clear-cut logging and artificially replant the Rim Fire burn area near Yosemite is predictable, but ignores the fact that severely burned forests are living, thriving habitats that always have been a natural part of Western forest ecosystems."
Fire Suppression is Bad for Wildlife, And So is Post-Fire LoggingThe 20th-century image of homogeneously “open and parklike” forests maintained almost exclusively by very low-intensity fire has been replaced by a deeper understanding of forests and fire regimes. Now, there is abundant evidence that historical forests were highly variable in their density and successional stages, and the complex mix of Native American cultural burning and lightning fires created highly heterogeneous conditions across western U.S. forested landscapes, including both small and occasionally very large patches of high-intensity fire—including some that were thousands, or even tens of thousands, of acres in size.
New study shows thinning forests for biomass is not a climate win-win The study looks at the lifecycle carbon emissions impacts of different levels of thinning on forest plots in eastern and western Oregon. It finds that far from providing a “carbon neutral” fuel source, forest thinning increases net carbon pollution in the atmosphere for more than 50 years, even accounting for tree re-growth and the carbon emissions avoided when thinnings are used as biomass to displace fossil fuels. Carbon losses on-site account for the bulk of the effect of thinning on carbon.
You Can’t Fix the Forests With a Chainsaw "..most natural ecological processes like wildfire, beetles, etc. are critical to the long term ecological health of forests. Yet the Forest Service typically attempts to reduce these factors to the greatest degree possible—in essence short-circuiting forest ecosystem function. In reality, they are typically not successful in these efforts—wildfires still burn a lot of acreage and thankfully we haven’t figured out yet how to stop beetle outbreaks– but the fact that they waste billions attempting to purge natural processes is yet another indication of irrational forest policy. Rather than a sign of unhealthy forests as portrayed by the pro-logging bias of the agency, these natural processes are important for recruitment of down wood into the ecosystem, create a diversity of wildlife habitat, and naturally thin forests. Stand replacement fires, for instance, have the second highest biodiversity found in forest ecosystems. In reality a “healthy” forest is one where wildfire, beetles, and other natural processes operate. These agents are like predator to ungulate populations—they are important top down influences."
Atlas of Population and Environment: Forests "Overall, human activity has removed roughly half of the world's natural forests, with the greatest losses in densely populated countries. With the exception of Russia, less than 1 percent of Europe's "old-growth" forests remain, while some 95 percent of the continental United States' forests have been logged since European settlement began . Most forest remains in the least densely populated forested regions -- the major equatorial rainforests of Central Africa, the Amazon basin and the Southeast Asian islands of Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea, as well as the boreal forests of Siberia and North America."
Dead trees are part of forest’s life cycle Post-fire recovery is a complicated process that requires time and care to help the forest heal as best as possible. Dead trees have many important roles. They offer some shade to seedlings trying to become established. Roots, although dead, provide soil stability. When they fall (which can occur immediately, or much, much later), down logs help hold the soil in place, provide decaying organic material and habitat for many species such as chipmunks, small birds and snakes. Small mammals are particularly important to forest recovery for dispersal of colonizing plant seeds and fungal spores that help inoculate soils with important microorganisms. Nutrients are released into the system. At many levels, dead trees are an integral component of the regenerative process after a fire. In forests, dead trees are critical habitat for many species, providing nesting and feeding sites for woodpeckers and other cavity-dependent species, as perches for song birds, and down logs for ground level habitat. Dead trees are created in pulses over time, single or small groups of trees die in mature forests, killed by fungus, wind, competition between trees, or insects. Or, large numbers of trees are killed all at once, such as in a fire. Some birds, such as the black-backed and three-toed woodpeckers, are specifically adapted to utilize fire-killed trees. These dead trees will often stand for many decades and blackened stems can be found in many mature forest stands.
Where Have All The Forests Gone This website shows pictures of what or forests used to look like and helps bring into perspective the damage that over a century of forest policy through logging and the forest service has cause
After Catastrophic Wildfires, Forests Rebound on Their Own "And yet, despite the perceived damage, research has shown that high-intensity fires quickly grow into some of the rarest and most biodiverse habitats in the Sierra Nevada. Soon after the flames have subsided, a flurry of new events begins. With the forest’s own nutrients back in the soil, a mosaic of fresh habitat opens up. Morels and other mushrooms emerge alongside seedlings. Up in the snags, beetles that have detected the smoke lay their eggs. Those eggs grow into wood-burrowing beetle larvae, high-protein food sources that draw woodpeckers. The following spring, hoards of other birds and animals appear amid wildflowers and the buzz of insects."
A Response to the New York Times’ recent wildfire article The important message of the article is that climate change is likely to change or already has changed the plant communities we have come to know. Certainly that is likely. The solution is to reduce the factors contributing to climate change, which most immediately is to halt the burning of fossil fuels, as well as meeting a more long-term reduction in human population and consumption. If we do not make this shift, than the loss of forest at least in more the more arid parts of the West forecast by the article will almost certainly come to pass. But the solution isn’t more logging and forest manipulation. We should accept the natural pruning that is occurring and learn to manage ourselves, not the forest.
Biomass Industry Fans Flames of Wildfire Hysteria “It would be unfair to suggest that Levin completely ignores forest ecology in her op-ed. She doesn’t. She just makes up her own version of it to suit industry’s desire to get out the cut, swearing that more intensive logging won’t harm forests, but magically “increase forest ecosystem health.” That’s just dead wrong, according to ecologist Chad Hanson, director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute in California. Hanson explains that burned forests “support levels of native biodiversity and total wildlife abundance” equal to or greater than any forest type, including old growth. Burned forests are also the rarest kind of forest, and therefore among the most ecologically important.”
The Wildfires This Time "What is missing in the discussion is that a “healthy” forest is one where natural processes like insects, disease and wildfires still operate, not some static image or preconceived notions of stand structure or appearance."
Research survey does not support logging as beetle outbreak remedy "Logging does not appear to prevent pine-beetle outbreaks, so policy makers should stop making such claims, according to a University of Montana researcher. Diana Six, a University of Montana pine-beetle biologist, and two University of California-Berkeley policy experts published a review of the scientific evidence to date on whether forest manipulation is effective at preventing pine-beetle outbreaks. The answer is generally “No.” ..The paper concludes that weakening environmental laws to combat beetle outbreaks is unjustified given the questionable efficacy, high financial cost of continual treatment, and the negative impacts such treatment can have on other aspects, such as wildlife or a forest's ability to adapt to future climate change."
Fire and Forest Ecosystem Health in the American Southwest "Timber industry and Forest Service discussions of "forest health" focus almost exclusively on tree sizes, tree densities and tree predators (fire, insects and mistletoe). This is because they are in the business of growing timber and selling trees. But forests are far more than trees, especially ponderosa pine forests in which grass is as much a keystone component as the trees. Forests are also creeks, wildflowers, native fish, soils, predators, fungi, songbirds, and shrubs."
Backcountry Thinning is not the Way to Healthy Forests "Thinning/logging slash and other cut vegetation is piled and burned, causing localized soil damage, or it is scattered on the forest floor, increasing ground fuel. Following treatments, invasive grasses and broom can cause a permanent shift to non-native vegetation. These effects can be seen in our lower-elevation environments. The alien grasses that invade are more conducive than native vegetation to fire ignition and spread, as occurred in thinned areas of the Siskiyou and Oak Knoll burns. Throughout the world in areas that share our Mediterranean climate, synergism between grass invasion and human-ignited wildfires has led to increased fire hazard"
Forest Health: Moving Beyond Rhetoric to Restore Health Landscapes in the Inland Northwest "Such nutrient degradation associated with logging should not be confused with a carbon cycling argument used by federal agencies to justify the forest health emergency. The life cycles of epizootic species such as mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), Douglas-fir Tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata), western spruce budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis), and root rots (e.g., laminated root rot, Armillaria root disease) are adapted to the dynamic disturbance regimes and heterogeneity of the region's original forests and are essential to maintain ecosystem processes"
Fire Ecology "There have been few empirical studies looking at the effectiveness of thinning as a treatment for reducing wildfire hazard (Frost 1999). The studies that have been conducted have reported highly variable results. Some studies indicate that thinning treatments designed to reduce fire risk actually increase the risk and severity of the fires."
Nourished By Wildfire "Burned forests are not dead zones, but rather teem with life. The reflex reaction to log after forest fires directly contradicts decades of scientific research showing both the immense ecological importance of post-fire landscapes and the significant harm that can occur when such areas are logged. Forest fires like the Rim fire are essential to maintain biological diversity in the Sierra’s ecosystems, and burned and dead trees provide critical habitat to numerous wildlife species. Of course, a legitimate public-safety exception is warranted to protect the public from falling trees in heavily traveled corridors"
Why Our Forests Need Fire, Not Salvage Logging "For over two decades, I have studied forests from Oregon's amazing coastal rainforests to the fire-adapted forests of the West. In dry forests, there are three issues that reoccur every fire season: (1) forests will burn regardless of what we do; (2) politicians will propose unchecked post-fire "salvage" logging, even in national parks, as a quick fix; and (3) scientists will continue to document the incredible regeneration that takes place after fires and how post-fire logging disrupts forest renewal. Recently, I submitted a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden and other members of Congress signed by 250 prominent scientists summarizing fire ecology studies from around the globe (www.geosinstitute.org). The letter was especially urgent as Wyden and other legislators are currently drafting legislation to increase logging on public lands in response to wildfires and, for economic reasons, on Bureau of Land Management lands in Western Oregon. In the letter, we compared four common fire myths with the evidence from around the globe."
Another View: Forests recover from fires without clear-cutting The logging industry claims that where fires burn most intensely, the forest does not naturally regenerate, suggesting that post-fire logging is needed to generate revenue for artificial tree planting. This is a myth. Scientific studies consistently find vigorous natural regeneration of conifers and oaks in high-intensity fire patches. I have hiked extensively through the recent Rim and King fire areas, and am already seeing beautiful, natural forest in places that burned hottest. More than a decade after the Star fire, pines and fir trees are growing through and above native shrubs in the most intensely burned places where logging was halted. When post-fire logging occurs, the heavy machinery rolls over and kills nearly all the natural forest regrowth. Then taxpayers foot the bill for artificial reforestation, to the tune of $1 million for every 1,000 acres in national forests, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Moreover, the revenue from post-fire logging does not go to the replanting of trees. Instead, the Forest Service keeps 100 percent to pay staff and expenses for the next post-fire logging project. The timber industry also claims that fire destroys wildlife habitat for the California spotted owl and other species, and suggests the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees. Not so. Last month, the agency concluded that “thinning, and post-fire salvage logging” are primary threats to spotted owls, and noted that “unlogged burned areas may be important to reproductive success and continued occupancy.”
Study: Intense Wildfires May Be Good For Rare Mountain Weasel: Unlike many large, intense fires in California, the McNally Fire area wasn't subject to post-fire "salvage" or "fuel reduction" logging. In the years since, the forest has made a remarkable recovery, with the U.S. Forest Service describing the area a decade after the fire in glowing terms: '10 years later, a look at the natural regeneration of the forest combined with the efforts for ecological restoration of the Forest Service and many volunteers, reveals the beginning of a new forest. Gone are the "walls" of lush tall pines and fir, at the lower elevations. These have been replaced with fields of wildflowers and brush as the forest begins the long process of regeneration. Poking up through the wildflowers are small trees - some planted by the Forest Service and volunteers, some natural regeneration and sprouting after the fire. At the higher elevations, much of the forest remains intact with more subtle changes.' That's a remarkable description, if for no other reason than that it's usually the USFS that advocates the same post-fire logging projects that would have prevented the McNally Fire's recovery. And now, a study of some of the most seriously burned areas in the McNally Fire in 2012 and 2013 indicates that the renewing forest may not be just aesthetically pleasing: it may be fine habitat for one of California's most reclusive predators.
The Value of Dead Trees "Logging, thinning, biomass removal and other forest management introduce all kinds of negative impacts to the forest ecosystem, from the spread of weeds to soil compaction, alteration of water flow, disturbance to wildlife, creation of new off-road vehicle trails, and increases in sedimentation. These negative impacts all lead to the degradation of the forest ecosystem itself, and most are ignored or glossed over by proponents of thinning and biomass removal. Forest "management" is so focused on trees and wood products that it represents a critical failure to see the forest through the trees."
Benefits of Thinning Forests for Spotted Owls is not so Clear-cut "Ten years following the Biscuit fire, the landscape is a vibrant snag forest full of wildflowers, conifer seedlings, woodpeckers, songbirds and butterflies that began populating the fire area as the embers cooled (from nature's rain, not firefighting). It was certainly not an ecological catastrophe. And while the fire influenced owl territories, its patchiness created a beneficial mixture of shrubby owl foraging areas with large dead and live trees left standing for nesting."
Myths Regarding Fire, Salvage and Forest Health "As one activist put it, "when they say they want to thin the forest, it means they want thinner trees." So-called "thinning cuts" in reality are often high-graded sections of forest where the Forest Service has selectively cut the biggest trees and left the smaller tree, which are the greatest fire risk. while claiming to thin in order to recreate historic stands of large ponderosa pine and fir, which have periodic understory burns, in practice they have done exactly the opposite."
California's Rim Fire is Good for the Ecosystem "In fact, every scientific study that has been conducted in large, intense fires in the Sierra Nevada has found that the big patches of snag forest habitat support levels of native biodiversity and total wildlife abundance that are equal to or (in most cases) higher than old-growth forest. This has been found in the Donner fire of 1960, the Manter and Storrie fires of 2000, the McNally fire of 2002, and the Moonlight fire of 2007, to name a few. Wildlife abundance in snag forest increases up to about 25 or 30 years after fire, and then declines as snag forest is replaced by a new stand of forest (increasing again, several decades later, after the new stand becomes old forest)."
Heavy Logging Vs. Fire "After fire, logging can damage the restorative powers of a forest by compacting and eroding life-giving soils, removing large trees that anchor fragile soils and shade new seedlings, taking big fire-killed trees that provide irreplaceable habitat for wildlife, and crushing conifer seedlings as logs are dragged uphill. Consequently, natural areas should be allowed to regenerate on their own as they have for millennia."
Rim Fire Logging Plan Poses Major Threat To Sierra Wildlife "Those who assume that higher-intensity fire “destroys” the forest may wonder why this matters. It matters because every scientific study that has been conducted on this issue—including those done by the Forest Service itself—has found that snag forest habitat is as biologically diverse and rich as old-growth forest, and often more so. Many wildlife species are found primarily in snag forest habitat, and depend on it for survival, but most of these are now extremely rare, like the Black-backed Woodpecker, or are steeply declining in population, like the Olive-sided Flycatcher, and the Western Wood-Pewee. These species are seriously harmed by both fire suppression and post-fire logging."
Fire Ecology vs the Timber Economy "Unfortunately for the mountains, logging is proposed as a solution to future fire risk, called fuel reduction and salvage logging. In fact, the Forest Service recently issued a “recovery and rehabilitation” proposal that includes logging approximately 30,000 acres of the roughly 103,000 acres of Stanislaus timberland burned, in areas where public safety is not an issue. If approved, it could yield more lumber than the combined annual output of all the national forests in the state. It would open up about a fifth of the National Forest’s burned acres to the road building, machinery, and soil compaction that industrial logging brings with it. So-called “fuels” are trees and shrubs that stabilize soils and provide shelter and food for a host of forest-dwelling creatures. Because climate and weather drive fire behavior and frequency, logging trees and clearing shrubs in “fuels reduction” does little to influence the behavior of large fires during extreme weather events. Science does not support this policy, but the US Forest Service has a substantial interest in harvesting National Forest timber, also benefitting from hundreds of millions of dollars in annual taxpayer subsidies for fuel reduction programs."
Northampton forests are prized natural assets that must be protected "It is important to remember that many foresters have a vested interest in logging and are in the business of producing timber, not protecting the ecology of the forest. This may be appropriate if your goal is to produce timber by carefully logging private forests to minimize the damage, but for public water supply forests, where forest values such as carbon sequestration and water filtration are most important, credible science states that logging degrades the forest and water quality and is counterproductive."
Landslide in Oso, Washington -- Don't Blame Nature and Acts of God for Reckless Logging "A system of belief that defies science and justifies irresponsible logging has become entrenched in our government agencies and universities (particularly, in university forestry departments largely funded by the logging industry). One popular excuse for logging is to claim that the trees are diseased and need to be cut down for the good of the forest. Another popular excuse is that trees should be cut down to help wildlife. Loggers escape the burden of proving such claims. Government agencies often green-light logging without adequate environmental impact analysis or protection of vital resources. Rather, the burden of proof that logging may be damaging unfairly falls on unpaid citizens. ...Forests provide much more than wood. They hold our earth together, mitigate climate change, filter the air and water, cool the earth, provide flood storage, offer habitat and food for countless species and create a refuge for the human soul. Irresponsible logging erases these benefits, rolls out the welcome mat for invasive species and Lyme disease carriers and releases carbon dioxide, worsening climate change.
The Flawed Assumptions of the Farm Bill: The Myth of “Forest Health” Logging "..wildfire and beetle kill are ‘RESTORATIVE” processes that are critical to HEALTHY forest ecosystems. Even if logging could preclude or limit the influence of fire, beetles and so on, it would not be desirable from an ecosystem health perspective. The ecological truth is that dead trees are critical to healthy forests. Indeed, the snag forests that result after severe wildfires are home to the second greatest biodiversity after old growth forests, but this phase is shorter lived as forests regrow, thus relatively-speaking scarcer."
Why Large Fires are an Ecological Necessity With massive expenditures in fire suppression, logging in the name of fire prevention, and post-fire timber sales, fire is big business. This situation creates an inherent conflict of interest for the agency. As the U.S. 9th Circuit Court explained in a 2006 ruling against a Forest Service post-fire logging project, “it has not escaped our notice that the Forest Service has a substantial financial interest in the harvesting of timber in the National Forest. We regret to say that in this case, like the others just cited, the Forest Service appears to have been more interested in harvesting timber than in complying with our environmental laws.”
Forest health crisis ends with a whimper “'The science is clear. Unless preventive measures are aimed at creating defensible space around homes, the federal government will be shoveling taxpayer money down a black hole,' said Dominick DellaSala, a forest researcher who works on behalf of conservation groups. 'Logging in the backcountry will do little to prevent insect infestations or reduce fire risks, and it will not solve Colorado’s concerns over dying trees,' he said. 'Fires in lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forests, such as those found in Colorado, are primarily determined by weather conditions,' added Dominik Kulakowski, a professor of geography and biology at Clark University in Massachusetts. 'The best available science indicates that outbreaks of bark beetles in these forests have little or no effect on fire risk, and may actually reduce it in certain cases,' said Kulakowski, who has been researching the interactions between bark beetle outbreaks and forest fires in Colorado for more than a decade. 'Drought and high temperature are likely the overriding factors behind the current bark beetle epidemic in the western United States,' said Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and lead author of a 2012 forest health report. 'Because logging and thinning cannot effectively alleviate the overriding effects of climate, it will do little or nothing to control these outbreaks.'"
Don't Log Burned Forests—Let Nature Heal Them "Salvage logging is a suspect concept in the West, and litigation and public opposition have slowed these projects in the past. The Forest Service, having learned from this experience, shortened the public comment period on Rim fire salvage to just 30 days. The opportunity for citizen input closed on June 16. A week earlier, the Forest Service began its hazardous-tree removal project along Highway 120, the main route into Yosemite National Park. To date the logging has made it just a few miles down the road, but eventually crews will clear-cut a total of 100,000 trees along 194 miles of roadway through the forest. This includes many miles of old road not maintained for public use—a hint, critics suggest, that the real agenda is less about public safety than board feet of timber. According to one Forest Service estimate, travelers to Yosemite should expect to meet an average of one logging truck every 30 seconds. ...In studies of the "snag-forest habitat" left by high-intensity burns, ecologists have found biodiversity equal to, or surpassing, the biodiversity found in old-growth forest. A mosaic of low-intensity and high-intensity burns makes for diverse and healthy forest. Burned trees are not waste. The snags, seed logs, and other deadwood that the Forest Service is rushing to truck to the mills are just the next generation of trees in the process of becoming. Fire frees up nutrients bound in woody material on the forest floor and makes them available, as ash, to new growth. Western trees are beautifully adapted to fire ecologically but poorly adapted politically. No forest type has fewer legal protections, and is more vulnerable to exploitation, than burned forest."