How many trees? (fwd)

D. Braun dbraun at
Fri Mar 1 14:13:41 EST 1996

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 11:10:53 -0800 (PST)
From: D. Braun <dbraun at>
To: Steve Shook <woodlab at>
Subject: Re: How many trees?

On Thu, 29 Feb 1996, Steve Shook wrote:

> D. Braun wrote: 
> > Dear Jack:
> > 
> > You may have noticed the discussion your post of several weeks ago
> > engendered regarding "how many trees", which I participated in.  I guess
> > this is your answer. It is still wrong. "mill residue" IS a "primary
> > product" --- it comes directly from trees.  Only post-cosumer waste ---
> > newsprint, cardboard, etc. that has been used in products, collected ,
> > and pulped is out of the primary product category.  
> This is completely incorrect, David.  In the forest products industry, 
> primary forest products are understood to be those products in which 
> the tree was harvested to be directly manufactured into a merchantable 
> product (solid wood, plywood, OSB, LVL, parallel strand lumber, some paper, 
> some pulp products, some corrugated products, etc., etc.). Mill residue is 
> NOT a primary forest product.  Products manufactured from mill residue are 
> the **indirect** result of the production of primary products.  These 
> residues, until very recently, were waste that was either buried or burned.

You are right.  I was using my own definition: primary forest products 
come directly from trees, as opposed to post-consumer waste sources from 
paper products, for example.  I do have a different perspective --- 
looking at the various pathways of carbon in the forest products 
industry, it makes sense to me that primary forest products have 
a pathway that comes directly from trees.  Apparently, the industry 
definition does not include mill trimmings, slabs, sawdust, etc. as 
primary forest products for some unknown reasons ---I won't presume what 
these are. The fact is, they come directly from roundwood.

> I don't know where you got your definition from, but it's certainly not the 
> one used in industry (e.g., see forest product marketing texts by S.U. Rich 
> or S.A. Sinclair or forest products texts by Bowyer, Haygreen, deZueew, or 
> Green).

Didn't read it.  See above.

> > This material, in addition to cutting scraps from paper/cardboard plants,  
> > reduces the need for additional primary product --- pulp made from round  
> > wood.  Why do you insist on continued obfuscation?  There really is 
> > nothing to get confused about here, unless you are still trying to claim
> > that the paper industry does not covet our public forests for pulp.
> David, you really shouldn't be preaching when you obviously are not an expert 
> in the area.  The pulp and paper industry does not rely on public forests 
> nearly as much as solid and composite forest products producers...mainly 
> because they have a substantial supply of reclaimed fiber available.  There 
> are dozens and dozens of papers concerning this subject (government reports, 
> consulting reports, peer-reviewed publications, and research center reports). 

Last time I checked, I was not ordained by any church.  As for "sticking 
to ecosystems management", I could also ask you to " stick to forest 
products management".  This is really getting petty.  As a trained 
scientist, I will continue to discuss whatever I want, based on my 
factual knowledge of a given subject.  I will also correct myself given 
new information, as per the scientific method, and to avoid confusion. 
This lack of agreement on a definition is really a very minor point --- 
and has nothing to do with my integrity --- and I take extreme exception 
to your "preaching" charge.  

I don't doubt that many papers support the contention that a majority of 
source materials for pulp and paper originate from recycled materials, 
mill residue from second growth logs and stands grown expressly for 
pulp, as opposed to mill residue from public logs cut from 
primary forest or cull logs from these same areas.  Again, I was not 
talking magnitudes here, only that public primary forest remains as a 
significant source ---- which is espoecially true in the Tongas NF.
> Stick to ecosystems management, David....You apparently have never worked in 
> the forest products or the pulp and paper industry (at least not in the 
> production or corporate areas).  You continually define everything in such a 
> manner so that it fits nicely into your ecosystems management framework and 
> anti-industry perspective. I suggest you brush on industry definitions and 
> industry statistics and stop attacking Jack as a "timber beast."

It really is not my fault that some industry definitions are ambiguous.  
I believe it is up to every field to define its terms so that other people 
likely to come across them also understand them. Attacking the party 
which missunderstands them will hardly lead to a collegial atmosphere 
among scientists.  

So, now it seems I have an "anti-industry" 
perspective? And I define things so that "it fits nicely into it"?  You 
are beginning to construct a straw-man cardboard cut-out to argue with.  
(Is this symptomatic of forest products industry hacks? Sorry-- just a joke).
I am not anti-industry; rather, I am for sustainable use. "Sustainable use", 
to me and many others, in and out of the sciences, means using a 
resource, be it forests, fisheries, or farmland, so that its biological 
capital is not decreased over the long-term.  For forests, this includes 
not only cutting and retaining the capacity to grow trees where we choose 
to do so,  but also retaining ecosystem function and biological 
diversity at some spatial scale.  This means that on the managed 
landscape that is the PNW, for example, some reserves are needed in which 
we do not extract forest products.  I could go on, but I'll keep this 
short.  You might want to read up in the field of conservation biology. 
I might add that this idea has the stamp of the majority of the American 
people and is the law of the land--- although management from the 
ecosystem perspective is, and always will be, an evolving field. If some in 
industry, such as yourself, believe that this is an anti-industry stance, 
I really can't prevent that.  

> > The issue there, as you know, is whether or not they should get in line 
> > with the rest of the public, or retain the inside access that PAC 
> > money brings.

(Reply to "This comment is totally uncalled for"  see below)

Is it?  Are you familiar with the recent "property rights" initiative 
that was funded in large part by the timber and building industries? 
(except Weyerhauser).  Are you familiar with the proposed rewrites of the 
National forest Management Act, and the riders on federal budget bills which 
propose to suppress the Interior Columbia Basin study ("surprise"-- this
inter-agency assessment found out that because of its recent intensity, 
logging had damaged various habitats and should be scaled back), propose to 
fund the National Biological Survey with $ 0, propose to exempt federal 
management from the Endangered Species Act, and suspend listings or 
designation of critical habitat, propose to overide court-ordered multiple 
use on the Clearwater National Forest, ..... Are you familiar with the fact 
that the freshman Republicans have raised record amounts of PAC money?  Have 
you seen bumper stickers for "Who payed Slade"? Do you know that he was 
the major sponsor of the Salvage Rider, that suspended all environmental 
laws on Forest Service and BLM lands not currently in Parks and 
Wilderness, and calls for green timber sales to be released in Late 
Successional Reserves in known endangered species habitat --- and was 
broadened further by a recent judge's decision? I could go on, but suffice 
it to say that yes, this comment was called for, given the whole-sale attack 
on our environmental laws, multiple use of public lands, and common sense at 
the state and federal level.  Jack is not a politician, but his inaccurate 
comment about where forest products come from falls on the side of the 
scale which downplays sustainable use.   
> This comment is totally uncalled for.  HOW much money do pulp & paper 
> companies contribute in PAC money, David?  It's next to nothing compared to 
> the money given to environmental groups to lobby legislators.  Grow up and 
> use logic and undistorted facts - you are working toward a PhD, aren't you?

Like I said, it is called for.  When scientific findings are suppressed 
because the few with money influence government to the detriment of all, 
scientists should speak up (e.g., the suppression of the Columbia basin 
study).  It is an affront to the integrity of science 
itself.  If you don't believe me, read an issue of the "Inner Voice", a 
newsletter started by Forest Service employees that feel the FS is still 
too enamored of resource extraction as opposed to sustainable use for the 
long term --- which is their mission.

As to the amount of money given to environmental groups used for lobbying 
legislators, I have a very hard time believing that it outweighs industry 
lobbyists spending to do the same --- I am including not only the forest 
products industry, but the ranching, mining, and developed recreation 
(ORVs, downhill skiing, etc.) industries, which is fair.  Because you make 
the charge, you should look up the figures. By the way, I am all for 
lobbying legislators; we can't all go to Olympia and Washington. I also 
believe that we need campaign finance reform; abuses really arise in the area 
of seeming "quid pro quos" in this area --- where money from environmental 
groups is dwarfed by industry groups, and law-making is more like sausage 
making than deliberations based on fact, rational thought, and the will of the 
people for the long-hall.  All campaign contributions 
should be no more than $100, and anonymous --- how about it?   

 > -Steve Shook
> Center for International Trade in Forest Products, Marketing Section
> University of Washington, Seattle
			- Dave Braun

p.s Because you believe that because I supposedly don't have first hand 
knowledge of the forest products industry, be it known that:

I have worked for 2 years for arborist and urban logging concerns;

I can fall a tree acurately, buck to length, and haul logs with a skidder;

I can climb, trim, and top trees (for removal) using arborist gear;

I carried out research in pest management of second-growth pine-fir in 
eastern washington, which concludes that thinning greatly reduces 
economic losses to the mountain pine beetle.

I count as friends several practicing foresters, arborists, and ex-loggers.

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