Feds allows logging after huge California wildfire

Feds allows logging after huge California wildfire

August 27th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Scott Small, and other National Forest Service crew members work to restore terrain that was bulldozed for a firebreak in the Stanislaus National Forest, near Tuolumne City, Calif., in this 2013 file photo.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

FRESNO, Calif. - The U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow logging on nearly 52 square miles of the Sierra Nevada burned last year in a massive California wildfire, a move contested by environmentalists.

The decision released Wednesday comes one year after the Rim Fire scorched more than 400 square miles, including parts of Yosemite National Park. The blaze was the largest on record for the Sierra and the state's third largest wildfire.

Environmentalists had argued against logging the land, saying the blackened trees and new growth beneath them create vital habitat for dwindling birds such as spotted owls and black-backed woodpeckers. Supporters of the timber industry said logging would pay for replanting and restoring the forest and allow the public to use the land.