Post-Fire Logging

Post-fire “salvage” logging is at the center of public controversy and conflicts over federal forest management policies and individual timber sale projects. Large fire-killed trees offer biological legacies that provide numerous benefits to wildlife, vegetation, soils, and streams that are vital to both early-seral and late-successional forest habitats. Recent scientific studies reveal that “snag forests” that are burned with high-severity fire are “hotspots” of native biodiversity. However, timber interests claim that fire-killed trees retard forest regeneration, elevate future fire risks, and argue for rapid logging to remove large fire-killed trees despite growing scientific evidence that “salvage logging” is the most harmful kind of logging in terms of its long-term negative impacts on the land. This page offers science papers and field reports that critique the adverse socioeconomic and ecological impacts of post-fire logging.