I have been teaching environmental and natural resources policy and management at Northern Arizona University for more than 30 years. If there’s one thing I know it is that protecting old-growth ponderosa pines is crucial to the ecosystems of Arizona.
The news that the Burnt Corral reduction plan will be harvesting hundreds of old-growth trees is alarming. Surely there are people in the U.S. Forest Service who are familiar with the research that has been done on these trees and the necessity of removing dog hairs and anything under 16 inches in diameter so that we can have the cleansing fires that we need -- and not the crown fires that destroy the forest.
This is not only a bad decision ecologically but also a bad decision politically.
ZACHARY A. SMITH
NAU REGENTS PROFESSOR
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