Letter to the editor: Clearcutting, prescribed burns are destructive to Wayne National Forest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

In my opinion, more people need to know what is happening in Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest.

On Sept. 9, the Ohio Environmental Council filed a legal complaint against the Sunny Oaks Project in the Ironton Unit of the Wayne National Forest.

The complaint alleges violations of federal law and regulations and many failures in the environmental assessment and an environmental “Finding of No Significant Impact” for the project.

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The complaint asks that project activities stop until the forest service corrects violations and prepares a “legally adequate ESI,” an environmental impact statement.

There is discussion of how Oak Forest needs to be managed and the importance of symbiotic tree mycorrhizal fungi in the ecology of forest growth and health. Clearcutting kills the essential fungi.

Both clearcutting and prescribed fire are destructive actions and research is not conclusive as to the value of using them for Oak Forest Development.

Barbara A. Lund