It had been a smoky summer. Last summer was no better. Most of the problem can be attributed to the lack of forest management in states like California. They kept the loggers out and their own forest management teams. Then came a dry season, as happens from time to time, and now they have a massive fire problem.

The same was true here in Wyoming when the area around the Snowy Range caught fire. Beatle Kill and almost no logging left dead trees standing and laying down, just waiting for something to spark them. That was quite a fire.

Some of us know better. Some of us refuse to learn.

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Earlier this year, a Neiman-owned sawmill across the border in Hill City, South Dakota, shut down, taking roughly 120 jobs with it. Industry analysts predict that unless things turn around, another mill — either in Spearfish or Hulett — could close within a year. And that, local officials fear, could have a catastrophic effect on the region. “The town would dry up,” said Jeanne Whalen, a Crook County Commissioner and Pearson’s second cousin. (WyoFile).

The Biden administration wants to cut back, even more, on logging operations.

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This opens the dispute between the Forest Service, which says that the Black Hills are over logged, and local loggers who say that it is not.

The U.S. Forest Service, in an internal document from last March, said recommendations from the logging industry regarding continuing operations “will result in a rapid decline of the forest timber program and the availability of sawtimber in the Black Hills operating area.” Those recommendations are “not sustainable and … not compliant with the National Forest Management Act of 1976, federal regulations, and agency policy concerning sustainable timber production.” (Officials with the BHNF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) (WyoFile).

So, do we have a problem with too many trees? In part, the Forest Services says we are taking too many trees, plus the beetle kill, and we now have a tree shortage problem. But we end up with the opposite if we stop logging altogether.

For the economy to grow we need products produced. This will cost jobs. This also reduces economic input into the economy. This will also be bad for the environment, as we have seen these past few summers.

There is far more to this story and I would like to thank WyoFile for the in-depth article they researched and wrote which included interviews by workers affected in these areas. You can read the full WyoFile article at this link.

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