Old Growth

Brian Simm b_simm at conknet.com
Thu Nov 21 22:30:44 EST 1996

Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> The argument that has raged in the above listed newsgroups about the
> Idaho situation and which has raged for decades all around the country
> as I see it - both sides are incorrect.
> The typical forester HATES old growth. He/she is brainwashed into the
> idea that old growth is "overmature" and should be managed because
> America's economy is dependent on cutting every last old growth forest.
> The typical forester has almost zero aesthetic appreciation of old
> growth; I'm sorry to say.
> Many but not all "environmentalists" think no trees should be cut or at
> least no old growth using such logic as- massive erosion will occur or
> numerous species will become extinct.
> They're both wrong (as I dodge to put on my flame proof jacket).
> There is so little old growth forest in America that if it all just
> vanished, it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to the forest
> economy except locally of course.
> And- erosion after logging jobs almost never happens. And- if any
> species still exists after the tremendous, rapacious, alterations we
> have already done to the landscape of North America, it's highly
> unlikely that cutting some old growth will eradicate those species. It's
> possible but unlikely. So the key arguments of both sides in my not so
> humble opinion are full of hot air.
> The real issue is that some people like myself like old growth forest,
> pure and simple. We like the big trees for whatever biological,
> philosophical or whatever reason.
> And... if the old growth is on public land we have the right in a
> democratic society to encourage our elected officials to not allow the
> cutting of the old growth. We don't have to have any biologic, economic,
> philosophic or any other reason. It's not a scientific argument to be
> debated. It's our political decision, like where to live or where to
> work. And if through the political process we manage to stop the harvest
> of old growth- then so be it.
> On private land however, it's a different story. Then the
> "environmentalists" have to have a convincing argument to stop the
> harvest, not just because they love the aesthetics of big trees. Land
> owners do have rights in this country, whether anyone likes it or not.
> Only a very convincing technically based argument that the harvest is
> detrimental to the public good will be able through legal means to stop
> it.
> The fact that some people don't like the means by which the big
> corporations acquired the land is irrelevant. We have a capitalist
> society, like it or not. And nobody ever said that the big capitalists
> were going to play fair. And turning the struggle into some kind of
> class war won't work. Not a chance in hell. Because we've already as a
> nation had the class war throughout this century and guess which side
> won?
> The "environmentalists" will NEVER win the argument if all they talk
> about is erosion and endangered species. Even if these arguments are
> true in some rare cases, corporations own and run this country. That's a
> political fact of life. It's better to try to win the "hearts and minds"
> of the public; i.e., elevate the public's interest in old growth- for
> it's own sake- turn them into "tree huggers", not likely of course but
> it's the only solution.
> I'm a forester myself and have even conducted clear cuts, but I love old
> growth forests. We have enough land in this country for both forest
> management and old growth if both sides stop being so selfish and using
> the wrong arguments.
> And... don't anyone reply in private email. That really pisses me off
> and I have my blowtorch ready. So don't. Reply here whether you agree or
> don't (obviously nobody will agree with me). I don't really care whether
> anyone does agree or not- I'm used to that. <G>
> ******************
> from an environmentalist forester (a rare species indeed)Hey great!!!!!
The CEO has to show a profit or he's out the door. The champion of the 
Spotted Hooty owl cuts cupons and votes the CEO out if there is'nt a profit. 
The forester's told to "slick it off" or he's gone. The general public is 
told to get involved. We've just got to remember that there's no black and 
white to this thing. Most foresters are environmentalists or they would'nt 
have chosen this profession to begin with. Let alone stuck it out. It's a 
great and rewarding life but a hard one to raise and educate a family on.

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