HOW MANY TREES? (FWD)

jack.perdue at afpe.com jack.perdue at afpe.com
Sun Mar 10 08:15:48 EST 1996



 > My general proposition is that forest 
 > products can be supplied from existing managed lands to meet our  needs, 
 > and existing primary forests (lands never logged) can be left alone to 
 > also meet our needs. This is indeed a balanced outlook--- because the 
 > vast majority of US forests are now being managed for forest products.  I 
 > don't believe that sacrificing biological diversity is in our interest, 
 > in order to supply forest products from primary forest.  If we can't 
 > supply our needs from 85% of the commercial timberland in the PNW, how is 
 > it that we can if we would only cut another 5%? (These are hypothetical 
 > numbers --- but the actual acreage of primary forest left, and the 
 > maximum possible that could be eventually cut could be found out; they 
 > are more or less acurate).                                        

Dave, this is a good arguement, but I don't think not totally accurate. Yes,
what is this 5% going to matter? But there are *MANY* people shouting about
this 5% and who are also shouting that all forest harvest should be stopped.
Call it guilty by association. I have been in a room where the Sierra Club
wanted to save the old growth timber. With the next breath they wanted to stop
harvesting for pulpwood because they wanted longer rotations. Yes, maybe we are
meeting societies wood demands from the 85%, but demand is increasing, not
stagnating. And with all the environmental restrictions (I am not berating
environmental regs - well maybe some) that available amount is decreasing. In
Maryland, we now have a no-cut buffer around the Chesapeake Bay, protected
stream buffers, wetland restrictions, a tree protection law from development.
All are good and necessary, with some minor adjustments. But the point is this
- an acre is not an acre anymore. Especially when it comes to available timber.
Maryland is now in a debate over setting aside wildlands (wilderness) on state
owned forests. There would probably not be any discussion except a full 50% is
already preserved in non-use designations. A little bit here, some more there,
something more for next year. Will it stop? Some are now saying "Here is the
line, no more!"

 > 
 > Here is a little story.  I took two silviculture courses from D. M. 
 > Smith at Yale; he is a nationally known silviculturalist with about 50 
 > years experience, who has written several silviculture textbooks (he has 
 > recently retired).  One day in class he was showing slides about pine 
 > silviculture in the Southeast.  He showed slides of a Pocasin--- an 
 > Atlantic white cedar bog--- in South Carolina, and refered to it as a 
 > "wasteland" because it couldn't support a pine crop. It is well known 
 > that these wetlands are hotspots of biological diversity, and that the 
 > conversion of them has led to the listing or proposed listing of many 
 > species under the ESA. 
 >                                                                  

Yes, I was in North Carolina and they were so proud of the fact they could
drain a wetland and produce site indexes of 120 for loblolly pine. It sounded
great at the time. I don't think they do that anymore. Someone will surely let
me know.

 > If you care to respond 
 > to this post in a collegial manner, I may reply; if you resort to 
 > personal attacks and skirting the issues in favor of nitpicking, I really 
 > can't afford to waste any time.                                    

You decide. No issues have been skirted, maybe disagreed upon. 

--Jack Perdue




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