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Post-fire Salvage Logging

post fire salvage loggingGiven the many large fires in recent decades and the many ecosystem values that people want from forests, post-fire salvage logging will continue to be a controversial timber treatment. The results of post-fire logging can vary greatly from place to place because post-fire logging varies in number and size of trees left, whether the largest trees and green trees are left or removed, the equipment used to log, the timing of the logging, and the limits imposed on road building and logging to minimize site impacts.

Opinions on post-fire salvage logging vary greatly. Proponents of salvage logging after fire emphasize the need for prompt harvest because the economic value of timber declines rapidly in fire-damaged trees. Opponents of salvage logging worry that this is adding ‘insult to injury’ by imposing logging with attendant soil disturbance and soil erosion potential. Ecologists express concern that cavity-nesting birds and other wildlife can be negatively affected by harvesting, particularly if logging is extensive and few trees are left.

The publications and media in this hot topic address the effects of salvage logging on plants, biodiversity, and cavity-nesting birds. They also cover a range of research that includes, but is not limited to, the ecological impacts of salvage logging; the effects of salvage logging on soil, sediment production, mountain pine beetles, and riparian systems.

This hot topic was developed in partnership with the University of Idaho.

Publications/Reports

2021 Tamm review: Does salvage logging mitigate subsequent forest disturbances?
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexandro B. Leverkus et al.
2021 Effectiveness of post‐fire salvage logging stream buffer management
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Peter R. Robichaud et al.
2020 Wildfire severity and postfire salvage harvest effects on long‐term forest regeneration
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Nicholas A. Povak et al.
2018 Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services - a systematic map
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexandro B. Leverkus et al.
2018 Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services — a systematic map
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexandro B. Leverkus et al.
2017 Mixed-severity fire and salvage logging in dry forests of Oregon's western Cascades
Technical Report or White Paper
Christopher J. Dunn et al.
2017 Impacts of salvage logging on biodiversity – A meta-analysis
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Simon Thorn et al.
2015 Vegetation response to burn severity, native grass seeding, and salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Penelope Morgan et al.
2015 Post-fire logging reduces surface woody fuels up to four decades following wildfire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David W. Peterson et al.
2011 The forgotten stage of forest succession: early‐successional ecosystems on forest sites
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Mark E. Swanson et al.
2011 Effects of post-fire salvage logging on cavity-nesting birds and small mammals in southeastern Montana
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
William J. Kronland et al.
2009 Influences of postfire salvage logging on forest birds in the Eastern Cascades, Oregon, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Rebecca Cahall et al.
2009 Nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Victoria A. Saab et al.
2009 Effects of timber harvest following wildfire in western North America
Technical Report or White Paper
David L. Peterson et al.
2006 The effects of postfire salvage logging on cavity-nesting birds
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Richard L. Hutto et al.
2006 Post-wildfire logging hinders regeneration and increases fire risk
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Daniel C. Donato et al.
2006 Wildfire, timber salvage, and the economics of expediency
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Jeffrey P. Prestemon et al.
2006 Postfire logging in riparian ecosystems
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Gordon H. Reeves et al.
2006 Snag longevity in relation to wildfire and postfire salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robin E. Russell et al.
2006 Post-fire logging debate ignores many issues
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Dominick A. DellaSala et al.
2006 Salvage harvesting–past lessons and future issues
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David B. Lindenmayer
2006 Monitoring changes in soil quality from post-fire logging in the inland northwest
Conference Proceedings
Deborah S. Page-Dumroese et al.
2006 Salvage logging, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity conservation
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
D.B. Lindenmeyer et al.
2006 Managing fire-prone forests in the Western United
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Reed F. Noss et al.
2004 Postfire management on forested public lands of the western United States
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert L. Beschta et al.
2004 Salvage harvesting policies after natural disturbance
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David B. Lindenmayer et al.
2004 The effects of postfire salvage logging on aquatic ecosystems in the American West
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
James R. Karr et al.
2003 Responses of stream benthic macroinvertebrates to fire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
G. Wayne Minshall
2002 Postfire logging: is it beneficial to a forest?
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Sally Duncan
2000 Environmental effects of postfire logging: literature review and annotated bibliography
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
James D. McIver et al.
1995 Forest Service Review of Wildfire and Salvage Logging
Technical Report or White Paper
Susan G. Conard et al.
1992 Deterioration of fire-killed and fire-damaged timber in the Western United States
Technical Report or White Paper
Eini C. Lowell et al.
1975 Erosional effects of wildfire and logging in Idaho
Conference Proceedings
Walter F. Megahan et al.

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