Trees for profit

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sat Apr 19 09:20:54 EST 1997

Ron Wenrich wrote:

> I think some of the problem is that the Canadian imports has kept the price
> down on dimension stock.

Although low prices on some timber is a big problem, the bigger problem
here in Mass. is that most land is owned by people so wealthy, that
forestry just doesn't factor in. The land to them is just a high grade
investment. I can sometimes convince some of them of the benefits of
forestry and how there will be no negative impact on the real estate
value; so that forestry is frosting on the cake, especially with "tree
farm" tax breaks. But for many, this frosting just isn't worth their
time and energy and all the paper work associated with "tree farming".

The state and federal bureaucracies contribute almost nothing to solving
the problem of too little forestry. They get their paychecks whether any
forestry occurs here or not. And I never stop reminding them of this
fact; but shaming them for the past 20 years has been a futile effort.
Especially to those with tenure. I've been pestering the state
legislature for 20 years too about this; but also with no luck. State
legislatures are not famous for their sophistication.

But even the wealthy get tempted when a timber merchant offers enough
money; say over $30,000. And to this day most cutting is still done
without silviculture by the timber merchants. Our state finally passed a
law for the licensing of foresters. All this idiotic law does is define
what a forester is. I tried telling the idiots that the word is already
defined in the dictionary. The law should have stipulated that only
licensed foresters could prepare cutting plans and prepare "tree farm"
mgt. plans. But the legislature and the higher echelons of the state
bureaucracy are as dense as granite and intimidated by the Mass. Wood
Producers Assoc. This group is right up there with the National Rifle
Assoc. in their ability to manipulate the legislature.

cc: via fax to Representative Chris Hodgkins

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