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Wildland–Urban Interface Communities’ Response to Post-Fire Salvage Logging
Western Journal of Applied Forestry (2009)
  • Elisabeth M. Hamin, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Robert L. Ryan, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Salvage logging, the removal for profit of standing trees that have been damaged by extensive wildfires, has been quite controversial and subject to lawsuits that can delay the logging past the time in which the lumber is still useful. It has not been clear, however, whether the public that has been most affected by wildfires—those that live near burned areas—support or oppose postfire logging. In this research we use focus groups and stakeholder interviews in urban interface communities that have experienced significant wildfires to examine in some detail the perspectives these members of the public have regarding salvage logging. Public support for salvage logging in communities that have recently experienced wildfires was much stronger than hypothesized at the beginning of this study from our review of the number of unsuccessful salvage logging proposals or even popular press reports. Key reasons for supporting salvage logging were that letting useful timber rot was wasteful, that it improves the postfire aesthetics and safety of the forest, and that it can provide some income for local postfire restoration activities. Caveats include assuring that any environmental impacts, such as new roads, are mitigated postlogging, and assuring that appropriate snags are left to provide wildlife habitat.

  • forest fire,
  • wildfire,
  • wildland– urban interface—western United States,
  • forest restoration,
  • forest esthetics,
  • forest management
Publication Date
Citation Information
Elisabeth M. Hamin and Robert L. Ryan. "Wildland–Urban Interface Communities’ Response to Post-Fire Salvage Logging" Western Journal of Applied Forestry (2009)
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