Severance and property taxes

Allan Derickson alland at
Sun Aug 3 13:32:50 EST 1997

Don Baccus wrote:

> The tree farms we've traditionally created here in the PNW are quilts
> monospecies, even-aged plots.  There are counterexamples, but the
> vast majority fit that definition.  The flora and fauna they support are
> measurably different than those supported by unmanaged forests.
> If you want to call a tree farm a "forest", I guess that's a semantic
> quibble.  Feel free.  I won't.
> When understanding arguments over how to manage our forests, though,
> the label is unimportant.  What is important is that these quilts
> of monospecies, even-aged plots do not function ecology in the
> same way as our unmanaged westside coniferous forests.
> As I said, there are ways of getting trees out of our forests which
> leave the forest ecosystem largely intact.
I think you are falling into the trap of (a) believing that the
industrial land that is intensively managed makes up a large proportion
of total forestland (it doesn't), and (b) that the original native
forests were all very diverse (they weren't).

Nonindustrial forestland is generally very poorly managed. They have
often been cut selectively several times to the point where there's not
a single merchantable tree left. On the island where I practice the
native forests were evenaged Douglas-fir forest with only minor amounts
of other species. Now they have been converted to multi-age
multi-species forests of low value.
> >My point is that everything in nature is not infinitely diverse. There
> >is a broad continuum in which we exist. Even simple things have value.
> This isn't very helpful in a debate over how to manage forest resources,
> no matter how appealing a thought this is.

I think it is very helpful because it points out that is no one best way
to manage forest resources. In nature forests vary widely over space in

Allan Derickson 
Freeland, Washington, U.S.A.  alland at
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