How many trees?

Steve Shook woodlab at
Sat Feb 24 12:35:31 EST 1996

D. Braun wrote:
> Dear Jack:  [in responding to Jack Perdue's response]
> You are wrong and know better.  Yes, trees go into paper--- where do the
> logs come from to produce the "lumber residue"?  Also, primary forests
> are a major source of fiber for pulp, both in North America and the
> world.  

Mr. Braun....What is a primary forest? Is there a secondary forest?  A 
tertiary forest?  etc...  Are you talking about second growth forests?  Are 
you talking about forests that have naturally regenerated (i.e., not 
plantation grown)?  Are you talking about primary production versus 
secondary production forests? Please be clear with your statements since it 
seems that you are just simply avoiding the discussion.

> The combination of a reduction in old-growth logging on US public
> lands, and whole-log exports from private lands has driven up chip
> prices--- as you know. 

This is true, but only in the short-term.  The high prices of pulp and paper 
within the past six to eight months is attributable to an increase in growth 
of global economies.  Trade flows for wood fiber (both solid and pulp & 
paper) stabilized, as they always have in the past, within six months of a 
major supply region reduction. Head over to the Forest Resources library and 
check it out yourself...or check the Center for International Trade in forest 
Products publications.

> Paper comes from trees.

Jack never said that paper didn't come from trees.

> If we want to retain more primary forests, or grow managed forests on
> longer rotations, for the benefits which flow from older forests for the
> many utilitarian, cultural, and spirtitual benefits too numerous to list 
> here, we must REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.  

Again, what IS a primary forest?  In addition, Jack never said that we 
shouldn't reduce, reuse, and recycle.

> I can't resist, here are a few things we get from INTACT primary forest:
> unique recreation, the highest quality water, the best salmon habitat,
> drugs (e.g. taxol), a reserve of genetic material for silviculture, plant
> and animal species which could eventually colonize managed lands if "new
> forestry", which puts some of the structural diversity of old-growth back
> into stands, is instituted more widely; and  a place of spiritual
> recharge and even worship. (Readers--- more?).

Yes, with selective harvesting and management we can get lumber, plywood, 
composite panels, wood I-beams, laminated veneer lumber, hardwood veneer, 
paper products, poles, rayon, ...............
> Also, spare us from saying "we have more trees mow than we did 40 years
> ago".  

We do have more trees than 40 years ago...roughly 28 percent more on a volume 
basis and 30 percent more on raw number basis.  These numbers are even 
acknowledged by many of the environmental groups that pursued court 
injunctions to stop timber harvests. (Citation: USDA, Forest Service, General 
Technical Report No. 1993)

> Trees do not equal forests--- this myth has led us to our current
> biodiversity crisis

What is the current biodiversity crisis in the United States.  It seems that 
you are just spouting off without providing any support to back your claim.

> and a reduction in old-growth forest in the PNW to perhaps 10%.

Perhaps?  Perhaps you should find out before stating statistics.  Your 
credibility is fading fast.......... I believe I have read a paper and 
articles by Jerry Franklin and Chad Oliver (both are very prominent 
ecosystem management proponents, as you know David), that have your 10%  
figure significantly greater.

> We have more trees, but the vast majority on managed lands
> will never grow older than 50 years. We need to leave the rest of the
> primary forest ALONE.

Really?  Did you know that many of the Eastern Temperate Hardwood Forests 
were once farm lands?  The farmers of the 1920s and 1930s defaulted on their 
government loans, and the government ended up repossessing large tracts of 
land that were later turned over to the Forest Service for management.  It 
surprises me how FEW people actually know this (there are dozens of books 
published that show "then" and "now" pictures of many of the Forest Service 
lands east of the Mississippi).  Now we have situations in which individuals 
do not want any harvesting to be performed on this sites that now do appear 
to be "old-growth" (case-in-point is the Hoosier National Forest).
> Your propaganda will not lead us to a sustainable future based on a view
> of the environment that is made up of ecosystems -- but only continue our
> mistaken view that the environment is entirely made up of commodities
> that can and should be targeted for consumption, of which some can be 
> regrown, such as trees, and some which can not, such as primary forest.

Jack was neither pressing against sustainability nor for the destruction on 
"old-growth" stands of timber.  In fact, he's promoting harvests on managed, 
second growth forests.
>                 Regards, Dave Braun 
>                 "You could look it up"

Dave, take your own advice. Also, don't believe EVERYTHING you read from 
extremist groups on both sides of the issue.

Steve Shook
Center for International Trade in Forest Products
University of Washington, Seattle
woodlab at

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