The news release is of great concern to me as it is again an example of a discussion focused on the resources of the forest rather than the management goals for the forest. The first concern is that burning 400 square miles of forest cover is unacceptable and suggest to me that past management deserves careful review. This fire has destroyed a massive amount of diversity by burning a large mosaic of forest communities. One treatment, for a 400 square mile unit of land is simply not a desirable process. Had we been working to keep these individual communities healthy and vigorous, and recognized the unique characteristics of these individual communities, we could have reduced the risk of catastrophic events like this. Maximizing bio-diversity is the best tool we have to minimize future events like this. A fire-fighter knows to search for the slightest changes in site characteristics and vegetation conditions as they know the fire behavior will change and give them an opportunity gain the upper hand. The scientist needs to observe and recognize these same site changes as well, and develop prescriptions to encourage diversity.
I suggest, the Forest Supervisor should have focused the discussion with the various interests on establishing management goals and objectives for the burned over land. Once these goals and objectives have been established the forest scientists should develop individual management prescriptions for the unique communities within the burned area. The focus of these prescriptions should be to identify the individual site characteristics so as to maximize bio-diversity. The final step is then to select the best tools to accomplish the required treatments. To me, it makes sense to salvage the products that can be recovered economically as a part of the restoration efforts. Somehow, we must learn where and how to start the discussions on issues such as this. We don't need "agreement", but we must have "informed consent".