Dear Editor:

Like you, I’ve seen much lamenting of the “loss” of the Gorge and its beauty. I too mourn the landscape I’ve come to know.

However, I’ve also been reminded that these places are special because of fire. Fire is a natural disruption here; such is the nature of our amazing temperate rain forests. They are born in fire; they need fire for renewal.

The Gorge will be lush and beautiful for future generations to enjoy because of the fire. To help rebuild recreation access to this dynamic place, sign up to volunteer with Trail Keepers of Oregon or the Mazamas.

I’m grateful to Bark for educating me about fires. In recent days I’ve found an old film about the Biscuit fire, which was 10+ years ago in southern Oregon, interesting to look at. It warns of post-fire destruction by “salvage logging.”

In the news this week, I heard several of Oregon’s prominent decision makers calling to increase logging for “fuels reduction”– not heeding the science that shows that weather, not fuel, dictates fire behavior, and that logging releases more carbon than fires while also decreasing the forest’s capacity to store carbon.

Don’t let Oregon’s leadership be science deniers! Take a moment to urge state Senator Michael Dembrow and Governor Kate Brown to use science about fire, climate change, and logging to inform their policy decisions.

We need our leaders to work to build resilient communities, not advocating for false solutions that may sound good on paper, but have no basis in science and ecology.

Millions struggle daily against the global injustice that is climate change with less resources and greater impacts while bearing less responsibility for its origins than me.

In the coming years we’ll have the privilege to watch the wondrous regenerative ecosystem that is a forest after fire. We’ll also have the responsibility to help make sure that these natural processes are allowed to unfold without profit-driven disruptions and to be vigilant in urging our decision-makers to advocate for climate justice.

 

Sincerely,

David Osborn

Bark’s Meeting Facilitator