John Buckley, long-time executive director of the nonprofit Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, points to dead blackened trees on Dec. 30, 2013. These were cut because they posed a threat of falling on Evergreen Road, the main road to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir which is 30 miles from the Groveland gateway community to Yosemite National Park. In the aftermath of the 257,000-acre Rim Fire that swept through the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and private timberland from Aug. 17, 2013, until it was contained at the end of September, a lively debate pits some groups that want all felled logs to remain on the forest floor for habitat value against others that want all dead trees removed. Buckley advocates a middle position, removing some dead standing trees to provide wood for society and prevent build-up of piles of wood to fuel high-intensity fires, while leaving enough dead trees to promote ecological values.

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