Post-wildfire logging is moving fast, raising environmental concerns


Jon Haas counts more than 150 rings in one of the many logs lying on the side of the road to Breitenbush Hot Springs.

“There’s some even bigger ones farther up,” he said. “I’ve never seen trees like this come down.”

He’s standing alongside one of the massive log decks that line both sides of the road near Detroit where the U.S. Forest Service has cut massive “danger trees” that burned in the Lionshead Fire. The logging was so extensive that the area has become unrecognizable — even to Haas, who lives at Breitenbush and works at the retreat and conference center as its finance director.

“I’ve been up and down this road hundreds and hundreds of times,” he said. “And I thought I was on the wrong road. Maybe I took a wrong turn or took the wrong fork…I was so dependent on these trees as my landmarks.”The logging took place while the area was closed to public access, and there was no notice that it was happening, So, the massive log decks came as a shock to people who live in the area and own cabins on Forest Service land at Breitenbush. But the Forest…

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