The Columbian | By Don Brunell
Columbian business commentator
Environmental activists claim they want to reduce production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. If so, they’re going about it in a very strange way.
Take forest management, for example. Anti-forestry activists oppose salvaging dead and diseased trees, saying the forests should be left in their natural state. But that debris is volatile tinder for raging wildfires that pump an average of 67 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, according to a 2013 report by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.
Salvage logging actually enhances forest health while producing building materials and jobs in the process.
For example, when the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens destroyed nearly 68,000 acres of the Weyerhaeuser Tree Farm, the company set about restoring the area. They salvaged useable downed trees, removing 600 truckloads of logs each day. By November 1982, 850 million board feet of salvaged timber was milled into enough lumber to build 85,000 three-bedroom homes.
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