Logging and mechanical thinning used to reduce fire risk

Updated: Jul 9

Top 15 Conservation Issues of 2021



As states such as California deal with more extreme wildfires, policymakers are learning that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Mechanical thinning and logging are two approaches that serve different purposes and can help in certain ecosystems. Mechanical thinning reduces the number of small trees, shrubs, and groundcover that serve as fuel for fires. The logging industry aims to harvest enough trees to increase their net returns while preparing the land for future harvest. Some policymakers feel that states, where wildfires are running rampant, are not doing enough to reduce their groundcover while others are worried that this approach will weaken important environmental protections.