Is forest thinning is essential for keeping forests healthy and people safe? If forest thinning were done with caring responsibility, however you must consider the ecology of any the forest, from the canopy to the fallen trees to nutrients on the forest floor.
Forests are made up of trees and bushes with much undergrowth. They are usually green and lush. Fallen branches, rotted trees make to soil rich, holding in moisture, keeping it cooler. The eco-system of forest seems simple, but it is complex and compound.
If a company is called in to thin thousands of acres of a forest, you can rest assured they will not be there to remove just dead branches, or just a few trees. It will be a full fledged logging company, in which case the vast forest will just be another crop.
Mature trees would be targeted leaving the sun to bake and dry the forest floor. The nutrients needed, the moisture provided by the larger trees for the growth of smaller ones and lesser vegetation would be compromised. In its wake would be a virtual tinderbox waiting for a spark to turn it into an inferno.
Thinning the forests would also lead to erosion from wind and water creating more problems. A thinned forest would not be able to sustain the wildlife that inhabits it. People are already complaining about deer, coyote and big cats coming into communities.
If people choose to live in the midst of a forest there are things they must be accountable for also. Naturally there would be roads. There would be thinned out areas susceptible to dry ground and dry vegetation. Consider a faulty exhaust, or dragging muffler sending sparks across dry embankment, or a carelessly tossed cigarette, a camp fire or rubbish pile untended.
The landscaping around homes, the building materials used for homes, plus the maintenance of the property would factor into the safety of people plus their property. For example gutters need to stay clean with no dry leaves standing in them; hardwoods that are more resistant to fire should be used for landscaping. No homes should be built into the forest proper no matter how picturesque. There should be plenty of space between a forest and a home.
Forest fires are nothing new. It’s the natural way in which a forest is thinned and then reborn. It becomes a disaster when mankind tries to help, recklessly.