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Post-fire Salvage Logging

Given 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

2019 Ponderosa pine regeneration, wildland fuels management, and habitat conservation: identifying trade-offs following wildfire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Victoria M. Donovan, Caleb P. Roberts, Carissa L. Wonkka, David A. Wedin, Dirac Twidwell
2018 Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services - a systematic map
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexandro B. Leverkus, José María Rey Benayas, Jorge Castro, Dominique Boucher, Stephen Brewer, Brandon M. Collins, Daniel C. Donato, Shawn Fraver, Barbara E. Kishchuk, Eun-Jae Lee, David B. Lindenmayer, Emanuele Lingua, Ellen Macdonald, Raffaella Marzano, Charles C. Rhoades, Alejandro A. Royo, Simon Thorn, Joseph W. Wagenbrenner, Kaysandra Waldron, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Lena Gustafsson
2018 Interactions between large high-severity fires and salvage logging on a short return interval reduce the regrowth of fire-prone serotinous forests
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Angela Taboada, Víctor Fernández-García, Elena Marcos, Leonor Calvo
2018 Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services — a systematic map
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexandro B. Leverkus, José María Rey Benayas, Jorge Castro, Dominique Boucher, Stephen Brewer, Brandon M. Collins, Daniel C. Donato, Shawn Fraver, Barbara E. Kishchuk, Eun-Jae Lee, David B. Lindenmayer, Emanuele Lingua, Ellen Macdonald, Raffaella Marzano, Charles C. Rhoades, Alejandro A. Royo, Simon Thorn, Joseph W. Wagenbrenner, Kaysandra Waldron, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Lena Gustafsson
2017 Mixed-severity fire and salvage logging in dry forests of Oregon's western Cascades
Technical Report or White Paper
Christopher J. Dunn, John D. Bailey
2017 Impacts of salvage logging on biodiversity – A meta-analysis
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Simon Thorn, Claus Bassler, Roland Brandl, Philip J. Burton, John L. Campbell, Rebecca Cahall, Jorge Castro, Chang-Yong Choi, Tyler Cobb, Daniel C. Donato, Ewa Durska, Joseph B. Fontaine, Sylvie Gauthier, Christian Hebert, Torsten Hothorn, Richard L. Hutto, Eun-Jae Lee, Alexandro B. Leverkus, David B. Lindenmayer, Martin K. Obrist, Josep Rost, Sebastian Seibold, Rupert Seidl, Dominik Thom, Kaysandra Waldron, Beat Wermelinger, Maria-Barbara Winter, Michal Zmihorski, Jorg Muller
2016 Post-fire logging produces minimal persistent impacts on understory vegetation in northeastern Oregon, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David W. Peterson, Erich K. Dodson
2016 Effects of post-fire logging on fuel dynamics in a mixed-conifer forest, Oregon, USA: a 10-year assessment
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
John L. Campbell, Daniel C. Donato, Joseph B. Fontaine
2016 Evaluating the ecological impacts of salvage logging: can natural and anthropogenic disturbances promote coexistence?
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alejandro A. Royo, Chris J. Peterson, John Stuart Stanovick, Walter P. Carson
2015 Effects of post-fire salvage logging and a skid trail treatment on ground cover, soils, and sediment production in the interior western United States
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Joseph W. Wagenbrenner, Lee H. MacDonald, Robert N. Coats, Peter R. Robichaud, Robert E. Brown
2015 Vegetation response to burn severity, native grass seeding, and salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Penelope Morgan, Marshell Moy, Christine A. Droske, Leigh B. Lentile, Sarah A. Lewis, Peter R. Robichaud, Andrew T. Hudak, Christopher Jason Williams
2015 Hillslope erosion two and three years after wildfire, skyline salvage logging, and site preparation in southern Oregon, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert A. Slesak, Stephen H. Schoenholtz, Daniel Evans
2015 Post-fire logging reduces surface woody fuels up to four decades following wildfire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David W. Peterson, Erich K. Dodson, Richy J. Harrod
2014 Ecological Consequences Of Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks For Wildlife In Western North American Forests
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Victoria A. Saab, Quresh Latif, Mary M. Rowland, Tracey N. Johnson, Anna D. Chalfoun, Steven W. Buskirk, Joslin E. Heyward, Matthew A. Dresser
2013 Perspectives on disconnects between scientific information and management decisions on post-fire recovery in western US
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Xiaoli Chen, Nathan Emery, Elizabeth S. Garcia, Erin J. Hanan, Heather E. Hodges, Tyronne Martin, Matthew A. Meyers, Lindsey E. Peavey, Hui Peng, Jaime Sainz Santamaria, Kellie A. Uyeda, Sarah E. Anderson, Christina Tague
2012 Utility of remotely sensed imagery for assessing the impact of salvage logging after forest fires
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Sarah A. Lewis, Peter R. Robichaud, Andrew T. Hudak, Brian Austin, Robert J. Liebermann
2011 Salvage Logging Versus the Use of Burnt Wood as a Nurse Object to Promote Post‐Fire Tree Seedling Establishment
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Jorge Castro, Craig D. Allen, M. Molina-Morales, Sara Maranon-Jimenez, A. Sanchez-Miranda, R. Zamora
2011 The forgotten stage of forest succession: early‐successional ecosystems on forest sites
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Mark E. Swanson, Jerry F. Franklin, Robert L. Beschta, Charles M. Crisafulli, Dominick A. DellaSala, Richard L. Hutto, David B. Lindenmayer, Frederick J. Swanson
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, Marco Restani
2009 Influences of postfire salvage logging on forest birds in the Eastern Cascades, Oregon, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Rebecca Cahall, John P. Hayes
2009 Nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Victoria A. Saab, Robin E. Russell, Jonathan G. Dudley
2009 Effects of timber harvest following wildfire in western North America
Technical Report or White Paper
David L. Peterson, James K. Agee, Gregory H. Aplet, Dennis P. Dykstra, Russell T. Graham, John F. Lehmkuhl, David S. Pilliod, Donald F. Potts, Robert F. Powers, John D. Stuart
2007 Nest densities of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging and time since wildfire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Victoria A. Saab, Robin E. Russell, Jonathan G. Dudley
2006 The effects of postfire salvage logging on cavity-nesting birds
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Richard L. Hutto, Susan M. Gallo
2006 Post-wildfire logging hinders regeneration and increases fire risk
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Daniel C. Donato, Joseph B. Fontaine, John L. Campbell, William D. Robinson, J. Boone Kauffman, Beverly E. Law
2006 Wildfire, timber salvage, and the economics of expediency
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Jeffrey P. Prestemon, David N. Wear, Fred J. Stewart, Thomas P. Holmes
2006 Postfire logging in riparian ecosystems
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Gordon H. Reeves, Peter A. Bisson, Bruce E. Rieman, Lee E. Benda
2006 Post-fire logging debate ignores many issues
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Dominick A. DellaSala, James R. Karr, Tania L. Schoennagel, David A. Perry, Reed F. Noss, David B. Lindenmayer, Robert L. Beschta, Richard L. Hutto, Mark E. Swanson, Jon Evans
2006 Snag longevity in relation to wildfire and postfire salvage logging
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robin E. Russell, Victoria A. Saab, Jonathan G. Dudley, Jay J. Rotella
2006 Salvage harvesting–past lessons and future issues
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David B. Lindenmayer
2006 Salvage logging, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity conservation
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
D.B. Lindenmeyer, Reed F. Noss
2006 Monitoring changes in soil quality from post-fire logging in the inland northwest
Conference Proceedings
Deborah S. Page-Dumroese, Martin F. Jurgensen, Ann Abbott, Thomas M. Rice, Joanne M. Tirocke, Sue Farley, Sharon DeHart
2006 Managing fire-prone forests in the Western United
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Reed F. Noss, Jerry F. Franklin, William L. Baker, Tania L. Schoennagel, Peter B. Moyle
2004 Postfire management on forested public lands of the western United States
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert L. Beschta, Jonathan J. Rhodes, J. Boone Kauffman, Robert E. Gresswell, G. Wayne Minshall, James R. Karr, David A. Perry, F. Richard Hauer, Christopher A. Frissell
2004 Salvage harvesting policies after natural disturbance
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David B. Lindenmayer, D. R. Foster, Jerry F. Franklin, M. L. Hunter, Reed F. Noss, Fiona K. A. Schmiegelow, David A. Perry
2004 The effects of postfire salvage logging on aquatic ecosystems in the American West
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
James R. Karr, Jonathan J. Rhodes, G. Wayne Minshall, F. Richard Hauer, Robert L. Beschta, Christopher A. Frissell, David A. Perry
2003 Responses of stream benthic macroinvertebrates to fire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
G. Wayne Minshall
2002 Effects of wildfire and post-fire salvage logging on avian communities in conifer-dominated forests of the western United States
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Natasha B. Kotliar, Sallie Hejl, Richard L. Hutton, Victoria A. Saab, C. P. Melcher, Mary E. McFadzen
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, Lynn Starr
1995 Wildfire and salvage logging: recommendations for ecologically sound post-fire salvage logging and other post-fire treatments on federal lands in the West
Technical Report or White Paper
R.L. Beschta, Christopher A. Frissell, R. Gresswell, R. Hauer, James R. Karr, G. Wayne Minshall, David A. Perry, Jonathan J. Rhodes
1995 Forest Service Review of Wildfire and Salvage Logging
Technical Report or White Paper
Susan G. Conard, Richard L. Everett, Susan Husari, Alan E. Harvey, Gordon H. Reeves, James M. Saveland, Phil Weatherspoon, Robert R. Ziemer
1992 Deterioration of fire-killed and fire-damaged timber in the Western United States
Technical Report or White Paper
Eini C. Lowell, Susan A. Willits, Robert L. Krahmer
1975 Erosional effects of wildfire and logging in Idaho
Conference Proceedings
Walter F. Megahan, D. C. Molitor