U.S. Forest Service plans salvage logging research in Mendocino National Forest

Oct 22, 2021

Dead and dying trees in Mendocino National Forest are marked with white-and-blue striped ribbon and orange paint to indicate they're being used for research.
Credit Courtesy of Laura Leidner / U.S. Forest Service

Fire and forest ecologists virtually all agree that prescribed and cultural fires will be an important tool to stop catastrophic wildfires from ripping through the state’s forests. But what should we do about forestland that’s already been burned by a fire? The U.S. Forest Service’s answer in the Mendocino National Forest is salvage logging. That’s a somewhat controversial practice when they cut down and remove dead trees to keep the amount of flammable material in the forest to a minimum.

But research is showing salvage logging may not always be the best tool to use in every situation. So the Forest Service is building on that research.

Forest Service staff lead us on a tour through a research plot and describe how they'll conduct the research.