FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials say they’re ready to unveil a plan Wednesday for what to do with millions of trees killed in California’s Rim Fire that stand at the center of a conflict between environmentalists and loggers.
Wildlife advocates want to leave the dead trees in place, saying snag forests provide a rich habitat for spotted owls and black-backed woodpeckers. Loggers say they favor sending the trees to sawmills to help pay for replanting the forest.
Last year’s Rim Fire was the largest wildfire in recorded history to sweep through California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
A deer hunter has been charged with sparking the massive fire that started Aug. 17, 2013, and burned more than 400 square miles of the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park’s backcountry and private timber land.