and Forest Restoration - Pros
and Cons to Salvage Logging
to salvage logging:
create enough ash to plug soil pores and thereby signifi- cantly
reduce water infiltration rates. Snow-melt and rainstorms result
in more water than the soil can rapidly absorb. A high probabil-
ity of massive soil surface erosion and sediment deposits in streams
results. Management practices that result in an increase of surface
organic debris in close contact with the mineral soil underneath
the ash layer can impede surface water runoff. This allows greater
water absorption by the soil and reduces erosion.
of trees is one of the most effective restoration processes used
to achieve this objective, but is labor intensive and expensive.
Salvage logging can achieve the same objective if logging debris
is used in the same way as contour felling.
2) Ash layers
create an environment that can be hostile to rapid recolonization
by tree seedlings and other potentially desirable plant species.
The black surface of burned areas can reach tempera- tures in excess
of 170° F, which is lethal for many plant species. Disturbance
of these black surfaces (logging activities) increases the albedo
and reduces surface temperatures. In addition, woody debris creates
shaded microsites that enhances tree seedling and native flora survival.
3) Amount of
dead and dry fuel loading is reduced. Future risk of “reburns”
to salvage logging:
1) Logging increases
surface erosion by further disturbing soils. The more a soil’s
structure is disrupted, the greater the potential for surface erosion.
2) Logging vectors
noxious weed seeds. Severely burned soils are very susceptible to
noxious and exotic plant invasion. Existing data indicates that
noxious weed abundance can increase threefold following fires.
3) Logging removes
standing trees that provide shade for microsites.
4) Logging removes
biomass needed for soil nutrient recycling.
5) Removal of
standing dead trees reduces habitat for cavity nesting birds and
their potential food source (beetle larvae that feed on dead trees).