Category: General Publications
Title: Landmark forest thinning deal reached
Author: Fischer, H.
Subject: Tree thinning, Logging, Environmentalists
Abstract: Environmental groups and a logging company have reached an agreement that may be nothing short of unprecedented. The recent history of logging in Northern Arizona has been marked by lawsuits and confrontation over the goals of economic development versus environmental sustainability. The result has been little actual work -- and the occasional catastrophic fire that results from forests now overgrown with dense stands of small trees. This new deal removes an obstacle to American Forest Restoration Products being able to harvest about a million acres of these small trees over the next 20 year to process at a new plant in Winslow into what's called oriented strand board, a type of waferboard. Ethan Aumack of the Grand Canyon Trust said environmental groups recognize that the 2.4 million acre forest does need thinning. (Based on the size of fires that have occurred recently, we know we need to be working at much larger scales, at up to 50,000 acres per year, across the Mogollon Rim.) But it cost about $1,000 to plan and treat each acre, more money than the Forest Service has to spend. (So basic math suggests that if we proceed with the current model, we have a cost-prohbitive need in front of us. We have hundred of millions of dollars worth of work.) Aumack said the kind of operation planned in Winslow not only offsets these costs but creates 600 jobs and should pump $200 million a year into the regional economy.
Type: Audio File
Source: KNAU website
Identifier: April 26
Publisher: KNAU Public Radio