Wildfire Info Center
here for the Native Forest Network's
Primer to learn about wildfire,
home protection, logging and post-fire restoration.
and Reports • Guest
Columns • Links to Related
If you are looking for information concerning wildfires,
home protection, fuel reduction, fire suppression, post-fire
'salvage' logging and fire ecology in general you've come
to the right place. At this site you will find a wealth of
information from scientists, the U.S. Forest Service, General
Accounting Office, conservation groups and others regarding
these critical issues.
As science has demonstrated, fire is a necessary, natural
and appropriate part of healthy forest and grassland ecosystems.
However, past and current management activities such as industrial
logging, fire suppression and grazing have greatly altered
the landscape and disrupted natural fire cycles.
So too, as more and more homes are built in and near fire-prone
areas, wildfires are increasingly affecting communities and
homeowners. Fortunately, fire scientists and researchers know
exactly what people can do to effectively protect and adapts
homes to wildfire.
For example, Jack Cohen of the US Forest Service's Fire Sciences
Lab in Missoula, Montana has conducted extensive research
on wildland-urban fires. Cohen's research indicates that "a
home's characteristics and the area immediately surrounding
a home within 100 to 200 feet principally determine a home's
ignition potential during a severe wildland fire." Click
here to link to Cohen's recent research and publications.
Unfortunately, the logging industry, some politicians and
even some US Forest Service officials are spreading misinformation
about wildfire issues in hopes of suspending our nation's
environmental laws to increase industrial logging on our national
This approach is wrong for several reasons. First, over the
past ten years only 19% of the acreage burned by wildfires
were on national forest lands.
Second – and perhaps most importantly – science
has demonstrated that industrial logging operations (which
cut down large, fire-resistant trees) are not an effective
way to reduce fire risk. In fact, the Department of Agriculture
and Department of Interior found in a 2000 report to the president
that "The removal of large, merchantable trees from forests
does not reduce fire risk and may, in fact, increase such
And finally, our nation's environmental laws were established
by Congress –at the request of the American people –
as a direct response to the US Forest Service's failure to
protect our public lands from abuse by the logging industry.
In fact, if you look closely at the politicians who are calling
for a suspension of environmental laws on our national forests,
you will see that they are the same politicians who are receiving
substantial campaign contributions from the logging industry.
to learn more.
Of course, the logging industry also has a good friend in
Washington, D.C. in the form of Mark Rey – Bush's Under
Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. In this position,
Rey – a logging industry lobbyist for the past 20 years
– is overseeing the management of our national forests.
if you want to learn more about Mark Rey's background and
his pro-industry agenda for America's national forests.
Again, thank you for your interest in learning more about
issues related to wildfires. If you have any questions, please
feel free to contact Matthew Koehler with the Native Forest
Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (406) 542-7343.