Forest thinning urgent

  Dear HCN,

In the long run, many well-intentioned environmental groups, with their stubborn resistance to sound forest-management techniques, will do far more damage to our forests than the timber industry.

Loggers often cut too many trees, but many environmentalists, in their resistance to cutting any trees, may bring about a total conflagration.

I'm a nature photographer. I live in Summit County, Colo. - in a sick, overgrown forest of lodgepole pines, the result of over 70 years of fire suppression without significant logging or thinning. The Silverthorne District of the White River National Forest has its hands tied.

Several efforts to start thinning projects to reduce fire danger have been met by legal objections from various environmental groups, delaying urgently needed projects to alleviate the danger of catastrophic fires.

Forest thinning is imperative. Well-thought-out projects should be expedited without lengthy environmental review by obstructionists.

We need a grass-roots effort to change laws and untie the hands of the U.S. Forest Service, or the heat of the massive fires such as we have recently seen will bake the soil - and we won't have any grass to stand on.

Steve TohariBreckenridge, Colorado

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