In the aftermath of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires, logging has recommenced in the Australian state of Victoria, despite intense criticism from scientists and conservationists.The Victorian government announced that logging in native forests will be discontinued by 2030, but conservationists say that 10 more years of logging could lead to ecosystem collapse.Scientists argue that logging makes a forest more vulnerable to catching fire, and they’ve drawn a direct correlation between the logging industry and the last bushfire season.Plantation logging offers a possible solution to native forest logging, and loggers can also be retrained to be full-time firefighters, experts say. A thick, acrid scent of smoke marks the last summer season in Australia, which has become known as the “black summer.” Between June 2019 and March 2020, a series of bushfires ripped through more than 11 million hectares (27.2 million acres) of bushland, forest and parks in Australia, killing about a billion native animals, including scores of iconic species like koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. During the worst months, December 2019 and January 2020, a dense, billowy haze glided over the country, and even across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, coloring midday skies an eerie shade of red, and filling lungs with fine particles that made breathing difficult. The recovery process for the country’s flora and fauna will take decades, or even centuries, experts say. Yet, in Victoria and New South Wales, the two Australian states that were affected the most by the fires, logging companies have continued to saw down swaths of native trees to produce paper pulp for toilet tissue and paper towels. In Victoria, where fires raged through more than 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) of land, a regional forestry agreement (RFA) was recently renewed for 10 years, allowing the state’s own logging company, VicForests to oversee and manage logging in the state, including logging inside the critically endangered mountain ash forest ecosystem. While the Victorian and federal government in Australia insist that the industry helps preserve jobs and boosts the economy, scientists and conservationists say continued logging doesn’t make economic or environmental sense.