Debate Over Salvaged Timber In Oregon Continues

, Posted: Fri, November 8 2013 at 6:11 PM, Updated: Fri, November 8 2013 at 6:25 PM

Over the summer 5 major wildfires in southern Oregon burnt a little more than 98,500 acres.

And what to do with the burnt timber has been a hot topic.

"Science is telling us very clearly that post fire habit, espicailly the the heavily burnt areas is some of the best wildlife activity in our forests," said Chad Hanson, an ecologist.

That's the view of nearly 250 scientists who recently co-wrote a letter to members of congress explaining why burnt timber must stay in place.

"It's a very rich and colorful ecosystem if it's left alone, and the most destrictive thing that could be done in this sensitive and rich habitat is post fire logging"

But that's not the way Jackson County Commissioners see it.

NBC 5 news obtained a letter written by the commissioners last month showing support to lawmakers to salvage the burnt timber.

The county is already down nearly 24 million dollars because of cuts to O&C lands this year.

And while Hanson acknowledges the economic impact salvaging the timber would do, he says in the long run it's not a good idea.

If you would like to read each of these letters, you can click the links below.

Letter from scientists: http://www.geosinstitute.org/images/stories/pdfs/Publications/Fire/Scientist_Letter_Postfire_2013.pdf

Letter from commissioners; Link to come.

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