Old Growth

Brian Simm b_simm at conknet.com
Sun Nov 24 21:43:11 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)

This is my second posting to this one. Can anyone tell me what "Old 
Growth" is?

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