logging and environmental problems

Mike Wells wells at rohan.sdsu.edu
Mon Oct 16 19:35:56 EST 1995


>Private timber holders have historically been pretty good about >reforesting their land.    Their plantations are pretty as a picture, >but only the TV ads call them 'forests'.  If you expect sustainable >timber harvest,look to tree farms for it, not forests.
>
>Public reforestation is really pretty recent.  It started on State of
>Oregon holdings in 1963, and on federal lands about 10 years later.
>If you want to use the word 'sustainable' in the same breath as >'forests' you need to figure in a 40 to 50 year slump in production.  >After that things can resume on a pretty steady basis.
>
>With the overcut in the rest of the world it seems likely that 50
>years from now the Pacific Northwest will be the only place in the
>world with trees to cut.
>
The ecological problems associated with logging are only tangentally
associated with sustainable production.  Depletion of timber resources is
an economic rather than environmental problem.  The central ecological
problem is the impact that industrial logging operations have on
non-marketable forest resources.  As Larry suggests a typical industrial
forest has the same resemblance to a virgin forest that a corn field has
to a mountain meadow.




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