Salvaging the Ecosystem after Salvage Logging

Bymtu

Salvaging the Ecosystem after Salvage Logging

After a forest fire burns a large swath across timberlands, logging companies often are not far behind. They come in to do what is called salvage logging—salvaging the timber that has not been completely destroyed by the fire.

It sounds like a good idea, since even the timber from burned trees can be used for lumber. Economic benefit can come from otherwise devastated land. Even the name has a warm, fuzzy ring to it: salvage logging.

The only problem is, the ecological effects are unknown.

Actually, that’s not quite true. For over a decade, Joseph Wagenbrenner, assistant professor in Michigan Technological University’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has been examining salvage logging at four forest fire sites in Montana, Colorado and Washington. He and his research team studied the effects of salvage logging on the ground cover, soil compaction, sediment in water runoff and regrowth of vegetation, compared to control plots that were not logged after a fire.

Specifically, they looked at the impact of various salvage logging practices, including the trails made by the most commonly used equipment: feller bunchers—heavy machines that drive uphill, cutting and piling up trees—and skidders, which pick up the piles of trees and drag them back downhill.

See also: How Amazonian Warriors Fight Deforestation

They found that the amount of sediment in runoff water increased measurably on the smaller plots, but the increase was not consistent on larger tracts of land. The amount of sediment running downhill and the compaction of the ground was greater where the feller bunchers and skidders were used. The more firmly compacted ground becomes, the less water can soak in and the more runoff and erosion can occur.

Wagenbrenner and colleagues published results of the US Forest Service-funded study in the January 2015 issue of the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Why is sediment an issue? It can cause flooding, when streams and reservoirs get clogged. At one of the study sites, where the Hayman fire burned 140,000 acres of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in central Colorado, the sediment runoff was so bad that one of the main reservoirs serving Denver had to be dredged.

See also: Global deforestation shows widespread destruction

Sediment can also damage fish habitat, raising water temperature and killing food sources. And it fills pools and streams with organic matter that is hard for water treatment plants to process, Wagenbrenner explains.

Sometimes salvage logging operations leave the small branches and treetops on the ground. This material, called slash, helped ameliorate the erosion and sediment problem, the researchers found.

His team’s recommendations for best management practices for salvage logging include:

  • Leave slash on the ground
  • Break up long feller-buncher and skidder trails with ”water bars”—mounds of dirt that slow and divert runoff.
  • Decompact the soil after heavy equipment is used.
  • Consider replanting vegetation, which works better than slash because it roots in the soil.

See also: Top 30 environmental concerns the Earth is currently facing

Sourcemtu

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in...

Bill Gates Admits to Chemtrails

Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering ( Chemtrails ) Geo-engineers are finally coming out of the “chemtrail” closet, as reports are now...

What If Animals treated us how we treat them?

These powerful cartoons of animal/human role reversal may make you cringe a little when you consider yourself in the same position. Hopefully next time you...

What's New Today

FBI ‘Mistakenly’ Releases 9/11 Bombshell In Court: Key Saudi Diplomat Who “Tasked” Hijackers Named

It’s being called “a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement” according to 9/11 victims’ families who...

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

Bill Gates is the top target for coronavirus conspiracy theories

Bill Gates has been one of the most outspoken public figures about the coronavirus pandemic. But the...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

MOST READ

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Rothschild Bank Now Under Criminal Investigation After Baron David De Rothschild Indictment

Last year, Baron David de Rothschild was indicted by the French government after he was accused of fraud in a scheme that allegedly embezzled...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in...

World’s First Mall For Repaired And Recycled Items Opens In Sweden

Because people in first-world societies have been conditioned to believe that they need the latest technology, new clothes every season and appliances that look...

This Unique City Operates Without Politics, Religion, or Money

While you’re probably thinking that a city without money, religion, or politics could have only existed in ancient times, the truth is that this...

Giant ‘Dead Whale’ Is Haunting Reminder of Massive Plastic Pollution Problem

Greenpeace Philippines sent a strong message about plastic pollution with a giant "Dead Whale" art exhibit this month in Naic, Cavite. The 50-foot long whale...

Strange sphere from ocean deep baffles divers

Out of the abyssal depths: Divers find mysterious giant blob near Turkish coast An enigmatic and gigantic translucent sphere floating near the Turkey’s coast recently...

WikiLeaks Gives CNN Ultimatum: Air 1-Hour Exposé On Plot To Discredit Assange Or Face The Consequences

WikiLeaks announced its plans to sue CNN after a counter-terrorism analyst called Assange a pedophile, in an act of malicious slandering. In response, the whistleblowing powerhouse...

Pedogate: Bishop Claims age of Consent Should be 7 Years Old

A New York Catholic bishop has claimed that pedophile priests shouldn't be held responsible if they rape children aged 7 and over as he...

The Pole Shift Has Begun

Pole Shift: It Has Started… There are two types of pole shift. The terrestrial kind is where the land masses actually move from their current...