April 15, 2014
STANISLAUS NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has submitted a plan to harvest timber from nearly 47 square miles of Stanislaus National Forest scorched by the Rim Fire, a proposal opposed by environmental groups.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/19sWKFr ) that the salvaged timber - about a billion board feet - could be used for construction and other purposes if it's removed before fungus and wood-boring beetles infect it.
The Rim Fire charred more than 400 square miles, including parts of Yosemite National Park, destroyed 11 homes and caused about $70 million in damage.
Revenues from sale of the timber could be used for replanting and fire recovery efforts in Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties.
But environmentalists say removing the dead trees will ruin the post-fire ecosystem that is essential to overall forest health.