Severance and property taxes

Don Baccus dhogaza at
Tue Aug 5 08:54:04 EST 1997

In article <33E50A57.23BD at>,
Joseph Zorzin  <redoak at> wrote:

>A good conclusion (to me anyways) is that SOME forest land should be
>left alone, without that powerful variable Homo Sapiens dominating the
>scene. And we do have such land in National Parks, and many other land
>holdings such as Audubon, Nature Conservancy, etc.

Such lands have largely (not entirely) excluded the West's most valuable
forests, which happen to be the low-elevation, western coniferous forests
under discussion.

This is not simply coincidence.  The industry fought hardest to exclude
the best timberland from such protections.  You can see this very well
up in Oly NP, where most of the timberland on the penninsula is in 
the Oly NF, and the mountains a (relatively) small bit of forest in
the Park.

And, as James Geisinger, now head of largest industry lobby group in the
PNW, allowed the Oregonian to quote him saying in the late 1980s: "we've
not yet given up the dream of logging in National Parks and Designated

>Other forest land
>will be managed like a corn crop, like those southern pine plantations.
>Most of the remaining forest land given the economics of forestry, will
>be under some but not intensive control by we "naked apes". So, we
>already have this diversity of mgt. scenarios, as I remember reading in
>Odum's "Strategy of Ecosystem Development" written back in the sixties.
>He discussed this diversity of scenarios.

The Clinton Forest plan manages remaining old-growth under such a triage
system, with about 1/3 placed in new, Old Growth Reserves, 1/3 to be
harvested by modifed, but still largely traditional, methods and the
last 1/3 or so to be a laboratory for developing harvest techniques
that maintain greater species diversity than traditional management.

It's a good basis for management, though the scientists who put it
together made it clear they thought the emphasis on harvest was too
high.  None of their original 8 management options yielded enough
harvest, so Clinton forced an "option 9" with arbitrary harvest
levels and told the scientists to do the best they could do.

As forest compromises go, it ended up about as good as it gets.  Whether
or not a compromise is sufficient to protect populations of a variety
of old-growth species which we have little ecological knowledge of is
a question no one can answer at this point.

>But the question remains as to what percentage of all the land will be
>allocated to parks and wilderness and what percentage to intensive mgt.
>In our pluralistic society we have to arm wrestle over these issues; but
>there is no absolute answer- one that will satisfy all.

For our western coniferous forests, the Clinton Plan answered that
question, and most conservation groups (and forestry professionals) were
ready to move on and tackle similar issues on eastside pine forests.

Unfortunately, train wrecks like the Salvage Rider made it clear that
the Clinton Plan wasn't going to be implemented intact, and as it gave
the absolute minimal levels of protection which the scientists hired
to write it would agree to, the battle was reopened.  

Too bad.  I think the industry, long term, just hurt themselves with
the Salvate Rider.


- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, at

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list