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As dozen of fires burn across our state in an ever-earlier start to "fire season," I am alarmed by the ubiquitous news of local logging "sales" presently going forth in the Bridgers near Fairy Lake; in the Gallatins adjacent to Bozeman Creek, Leverich, and Kirk Hill; and near Hebgen Lake, all justified by claims of "fire mitigation."

In The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, we learn that forests are actually living communities in which the survival of individual members of these communities depend upon one another for life via their underground connections. These communities fight disease, infestations, drought, and fire events via natural campaigns launched communally to ensure the survival of the community over time. What is the wisdom of us stepping into this process that has continued for eons only to destroy the very communities that have survived on their own?

"Selective logging" is just a euphemism for weakening and destruction of these forest communities through removal of a portion of its individual members. Not only do the trees need each other for survival, but so do the myriad other life forms that thrive in concert with intact forests. We need the forests to merely breathe! Stop cutting off our oxygen supply and killing the very communities all other life needs for survival. "Fire suppression" is just a bogus excuse for selling off our forests to the highest bidder. No more logging!

Kate Cremer-Vogel


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