EF! Fined $1million in Idaho

D. Braun dbraun at u.washington.edu
Mon Feb 24 12:14:51 EST 1997

On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Bob Tiernan wrote:

> On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, D. Braun wrote:
> > wbg wrote:
> >>  Give me a break, and check your facts before recyclying the
> >>  anti-capitalist Greens crap. We have more trees today in North America
> >>  than we had in 1900. Since that verifiable fact might impair your
> >>  ideologically bent polemics, you'd prefer to pretend it doesn't exist.
> > Stinky red herring, left over from the Limbaugh show (Hey, I wouldn't eat
> > it either). The number of trees isn't the issue, its the quality of the
> > forest--- and old-growth forests have irreplaceable qualities in addition
> > to valuable timber.
> Well, I agree that it's a wee bit disingenuous to neglect to mention that
> a lot of these trees are in neat little rows in tree farms, but that info
> wasn't needed when the point being made was of the oxygen being produced
> by the trees.  In that case, it doesn't matter where the trees are so long

Lack of oxygen has not been observed as a product of world-wide forest
conversion to younger forests, agriculture, other vegetation, or
urbanization.  However, these conversions do figure in the C cycle, as
most forests store much more carbon as primary forests, than as younger
forests under intensive silviculture. As far as the worldwide O2 cycle
goes, the ocean's phytoplankton play a large role--- we should worry about
how ozone thinning affects it, instead of dithering about sunscreen. 

> as they're there.  But there are numerous area outside of tree farms that
> have a lot more trees than say a hundred years ago, as photos of the 1874
> Black Hills expedition photos show compared to pictures of the same
> locations today.

This is quite true.  These forested areas are a result of overgrazing and
fire suppression.  They are also inherently unstable, as frequent drought
stresses the trees, making them susceptible to bark beetles and
defoliators.  When fires do occur, they tend to burn intensively.
Grassland, with occasional trees, was the pre-settlement condition.

> Bob T.

Dave Braun


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