Less than five percent of burned BLM lands will be salvaged after Holiday Farm Fire

Dead and dying trees will be removed on less than five percent of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire, according to a plan released by the agency on April 27.

The BLM’s plan calls for area salvage on just 910 acres.  Though the agency is also removing hazard trees along some roadsides, over 15,000 acres of dead and dying trees on BLM lands will be left to fall, decay, emit carbon, and serve as fuel for future wildfires.

“Anti-forestry groups have made outrageous claims about post-fire management activities on Forest Service and BLM lands,” said AFRC Federal Timber Program Director Andy Geissler. “They will characterize the BLM’s plan as massive ‘clear-cutting,’ when the reality is less than five percent will be salvaged to support reforestation, reduce the risks of future reburns, generate funding for county services, and provide some relief from record lumber prices.”

Dead and dying trees are processed into a variety of wood products when they are promptly salvaged from Western Oregon BLM lands. Revenue from the sale of these dead and dying trees helps pay for seedlings the agency needs to replant new trees in fire-damaged forests, and a portion is also shared with counties to support local services such as Sheriff’s patrols and public health.

“Despite the rhetoric, the public would be surprised to learn that very little of our burned federal lands will receive post-fire treatment and reforestation,” Geissler said. “While we continue to urge federal agencies to do more of this work, we believe this plan should be implemented as quickly as possible.”