RENO, Nev. — Biologists, ecologists and other scientists are urging
Congress to defeat legislation they say would destroy critical wildlife habitat
by setting aside environmental laws to speed logging of burned trees at Yosemite
National Park and other areas across the West.
The experts said two measures pushed by pro-logging interests ignore a growing
scientific consensus that the burned landscape plays a critical role in forest
regeneration and is home to birds, bats and other species found nowhere else.
Proponents of bills by Republican Congressmen Don Hastings of Washington and
Tom McClintock of California said not enough timber is being harvested from
burned-over areas. They said delays in logging after wildfires makes
reforestation more difficult and expensive and increases fire danger.
The scientists sent a letter to Congress urging the bills’ defeat.