What is agroforestry? Well...

kats kats at prcn.org
Tue Aug 19 01:47:37 EST 1997

Michael Hagen wrote in article <33F4A393.5DF0 at mail.olympus.net>...

:Just saw a breakdown on the conifer fiber vs. hemp vs. kenaf issue.
:Without going into exhausting detail the American Forest & Paper Assoc.
:found that "the highest yield of paper grade (hemp) fiber is 1.17
:tons/acre in Italy.  Kenaf and hardwood "supertrees"  produce close to 6
:Now I admit to never having grown either of the alternative crops
:myself, but wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that hemp and kenaf
:would be grown in a very intensive manner, that is, high in herbicide
:use, high fertilization, and with very little plant matter returned to
:the soil?  This doesn't sound compatible with most forest conditions,
:much less what we would consider in healthy riparian areas.  Sounds
:better for low value ag lands. Please correct me if I'm off target.
Nope - you are not off target at all - a hemp plantation would have to be
heavily maintained.  The forest land I am referring to for this type of crop
would be specifically low value lands - poor for timber production and any
other type of agro use...(logged nonetheless)

The riparian areas - I would prefer to leave them as just that.  Not to
sound defeatist, but, what's done is done (all those areas adjacent to
rivers logged without foresight).  All we can do is let the earth heal her
scars - the more you mess with these areas, the worse they get (kinda like a
crooked haircut, I guess) <G>

Although, in riparian areas, rising water tables have inhibited conifer
growth repeatedly.  According to my limited knowledge, marijuana needs lots
of water and lots of sun.  Clearcutting adjacent to rivers provides both,
ususally.  No official studies have been completed locally for this type of
biodiversity, but... i am sure they are forthcoming...

:> As a consultant, I can recommend to my hearts content.  Unfortunately,
:> legalities (back to the hemp thing) prohibit my making the
recommendations I
:> would like to make.
:Also, potential clients think you're a crazed enviro (bad word here)
:when you start talking about sustainable forestry and alternative crops.
:The attitude that if it doesn't require heavy equipment, its not worth
:anything seems to be common among local land managers, with the definite
:exception of several tribal land managers.

verrrrrry bad word here <G>  Sustainable forestry is possible - we just have
to minimize the politics and maximize the knowledge.   The heavy equipment
mentality prevails - lotsa jobs there - we have to learn how to integrate
the use for maximum benefits (on both ends - can be used to log and for

:>good stuff snipped ...all the other complications (wildlife habitat,
ministry of environment, riparian management restrictions, bla bla) and you
have a full blown circus on your hands.
:>Thats why we get paid the big bucks (snort :) Actually I misdirected a
rant myself recently, (into the ozone, I think) that refered to ginseng,
chanterelles, curly willow and some really good alternative forest crops.
There are several people here in the former logging capital of the world
that have always been into the alternative forest market and the ideas are
getting more refined. Using alt crops as trades for riparian restrictions is
just the first step, although it's tough for many. Ultimately a temporate
climate branch of agroforestry will result and I want to be in on it.

Me too (to the temporate climate branch, I mean).  I don't know who gets the
big bucks in silviculture - is there anyone?  I love consulting - I have
much more freedom and way less headaches...

I read your misdirected rant the other day  :)
        good rant  :)

:> Rant all you like - it gets the rest of us going <G>
:> kath
:Mike H.

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