The Bush administration supports commercial logging of dead timber after a forest fire. Environmentalists say dead trees are essential for a forest to regrow.
"One of the most contentious issues is whether government should leave a forest alone after it has burned, letting the trees decay to nurture a gradual rebirth, as conservationists advocate; or log the commercially valuable dead timber and replant, as the Bush administration desires.
It is a debate likely to intensify across the West as millions of acres of forest burn every year, the conditions worsened by drought and global warming. Already, a third of the timber harvested in U.S. national forests consists of salvage - trees killed or damaged in wildfires, insect outbreaks or other natural disasters."