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Opinion >  Letters

Bad plan, Forest Service

Recently, the Forest Service drafted a new plan that would drastically alter the management of the Colville National Forest. The plan doesn’t provide any new tools or ideas to address the current restoration needs of our forest, would severely limit the amount of timber available for commercial harvesting, and continues the failed policies of ignoring forest restoration after catastrophic fire.

Sustainable timber harvesting within Colville is broadly supported by local communities and collaborative groups representing diverse interests. However, the plan ignores both this public support and their duty to get work done on the ground.

Counterintuitively, the Forest Service’s own modeling supports higher rates of forest restoration and timber harvesting, and even lauds its many benefits such as reducing woody fuel and clearing fire-damaged timber, both of which create healthier forests. Why is the Forest Service ignoring its own advice?

After tragically losing homes and lives to catastrophic wildfires last year, the people of Washington are more aware than ever. A recent poll showed that 89 percent of Washingtonians feel active forest management is important. This new plan does a disservice to those people, their communities and the forests in which they work and play.

Les Hahn


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