Timber Harvesting is Wildfire Risk Reduction
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWC) stewards a healthy forest ecosystem which includes management for wildlife habitat, soil and water quality, native biological diversity (the variety of life that naturally exists in a specific area), recreational opportunities, and forest products (examples: building lumber or wood used as fuel) to name a few. To balance the management objectives, various internal resource specialists collaborate to prioritize focus areas and implement projects and/or treatments. One important component of a sustainable forest is the periodic harvesting of trees.
Peter Howard, Forester for the Evanston-Mountain View Ranger District, states that “timber harvest is an important part of our vegetation and fuels management work on the UWC. It removes large quantities of hazardous fuels from the areas treated, increases species and age diversity across the landscape resulting in a healthier forest, and it provides forest products and well-paying jobs to our local economies”. Timber harvesting encompasses felling, extraction, on site/landing processing, and loading of trees, logs or other tree parts onto trucks. For the 2021 Fiscal Year, the UWC sold approximately 27,000 CCF (hundred cubic feet), this equates to approximately 2,700 fully loaded log trucks. Of this total, 6,000 CCF was fuelwood, and 21,000 CCF was sawtimber to be milled into lumber or other wood products. Additionally, fire management staff assist with applying prescribed fire to the slash piles once the timber sale is complete (when all of the included timber has been cut/hauled, the erosion control and other closeout work has been accepted by the Contracting Officer).
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