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Opinion >  Letters

Forests are different now

I get very frustrated every time I hear experts and people say we have interrupted the natural fire evolution by not letting fires burn. It’s all part of the natural world …

Sorry, but that was then this is now. The world has changed! The old world had old-growth forests with trees with bark up to 10 inches thick and 200-foot trees to resist fire. Small trees were far and few between. All we have now for forests is reprod — second-, third- and fourth-growth — if not overgrowth of brush and hard woods.

If you’ve ever seen the California forests, many are just brush anymore. Washington forests are the same. All are ripe for fire. Just matches growing out of the ground. The ground is dry and hot, where old growth kept the ground much cooler even in drought. Back when there were watersheds. Yes yes yes there were forest fires and huge forest fires before logging!! I hear all the time how the Indians would set fire to keep the brush down, of course, but that’s not today’s forest!

We don’t want to upset the logging industry by pointing the obvious because we think what humans do has no impact.

The forest have changed! The land has changed! I do not know what the answer is. When you change the natural world you’re left with an imbalance. Less water, less snowpack, higher ground temperatures and burning brush that used to be forests.

Phil Thompson

Newport



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