Protect What’s Left After Fire

As communities rebuild after this season’s wildfires, we need to protect the best of what’s left and treat Oregon’s sensitive burned forests with car.  In the Santiam Canyon, along the McKenzie and Umpqua Rivers, we are seeing green trees being logged, and extensive cutting on sensitive burned lands.  We let the Columbia River Gorge come back naturally after the Eagle Creek fire, and so we know how to let these forests recover.    We have already lost so much, let’s protect what’s left and bring back our beloved recreation areas.

Tell Oregon’s leaders to protect our naturally recovering public lands, recreation areas from excessive post-fire cutting!

Born from Fire

This time lapse clip shows Angel’s Rest, an area that was burned by the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017, as it emerges green and full of life again.

Thriving with Fire

Fires are a Natural Part of our Forests

The forests of the Pacific Northwest were all born from fire. After a fire, we see charred trees and blackened landscapes, yet soon after the fire goes out we see the green sprouts of new life return. For centuries, native peoples of the Pacific Northwest worked with fire, not against it, in order to thrive in this region.

Post-fire logging hurts forest recovery

Post-fire logging projects convert complex forests into exposed landscapes. Logging sensitive burned forests requires road building and the application of toxic chemicals to jumpstart a plantation forest. These actions disrupt health of these forests and surrounding communities.

Santiam River

Without public input or oversight, forest managers are authorizing extensive cutting along in and around popular recreation areas, scenic areas and campgrounds.  In the Columbia River Gorge, the landscape was left to come back naturally, with limited cutting at parking areas.  Today the Gorge is green and full of life again. The large fire-killed trees are still standing, and are providing homes to birds and are stabilizing the soils.

Post-Fire Logging Threatens Our Drinking Water Supplies

While wildfire impacts the soils and forests in our drinking watersheds, logging compounds and increases the impact many times over.  

Top experts at Oregon State University have documented how post-fire logging can magnify and compound the impact by 28 times, dirtying the water and increasing treatment costs.

Post-fire logging can increase sedimentation in watersheds by 2,800%, harming fish and increasing costs to purify drinking water.

The natural process of recovery can only happen if we let it.

Logging emits more carbon than wildfire

Most of the biomass carbon in a forest is stored in the trunks of large trees and organic soil, and wildfire mostly burns up the needles and smaller material.  In contrast, post-fire logging and milling releases additional carbon on top of that lost by the fire – an additional 40%.   A burned and unlogged forest recovers the carbon it had pre-fire within 15-20 years.

Forests, Fire & Carbon

We have already lost so much–ask lawmakers to oppose cutting sensitive burned forests and allow your public lands to come back naturally!