SCIENCE

Logging May Combat Lake Tahoe Wildfires

  • Doug Horn , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Aug, 20, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Lake Tahoe is being decimated by drought, invasive species, the threat of wildfire and climate change, officials have announced.

Lawmakers agree that the lake needs to undergo more logging to protect it from further wildfire damage, according to Maine News.

Years of suppressing wildfires to protect homes has left many forests much too thick with trees, which actually exacerbates wildfires and causes disease.

"The policy of the last 30 years has failed and failed miserably," said Republican Rep. Tom McClintock of California. He added that money from logging could help pay for forest improvements.  

According to Nature World News, "US Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein agreed. They both joined federal and state officials in signing a proclamation supporting fuel-reduction efforts near the lake. The extra $415 million would help to fight invasive species, wildfires and reduce erosion that clouds the lake. All summit participants concurred that it is time to back wildfire prevention efforts and quell current regulations that prevent the removal of dead, dying and overcrowded trees before and after wildfires strike."

The Lake Tahoe surrounding area was particularly devastated by a wildfire five years ago that destroyed more than 250 homes.

Additionally, the West is in the middle of a three-year-long drough, which puts added stress on healthy trees, making them more susceptible to insects, disease and fires.

Lake Tahoe is challenged by climate change and invasive species like the quagga mussels and Asian clams. Quagga mussels are water-filterers that remove substantial amounts of phytoplankton and suspended particulate from the water. It decreases the food source for zooplankton, which alters Lake Tahoe's food web.

 

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