Logging on our National Forests

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Wed Nov 12 04:03:18 EST 1997


Ron Wenrich wrote:

> And I've also seen where woodlot owners wiped out the stand because of high
> stumpage prices.  Short term gain.  Everyone has been trying to get the
> NIPF to manage better, for decades.  I haven't seen much progress, in my
> neck of the woods.  Slash for cash, diameter limit cuts, high grading, all
> still go on.  Forestry information comes from a lot of different sources,
> all with different economic interests, which leave the NIPF dazed and
> confused.  A lot of times, they just throw their hands up and walk away,
> doing nothing.  We have high stumpage for sawlogs, but low stumpage for
> pulp/firewood.  Most thinnings are done in the sawlog classes.
> 

High and growing real estate values have helped encourage forestry on
private non company lands in my area of western Mass. Real estate taxes
are now so high that many landowners take advantage of state Ch. 61
Forest Tax Law that grants them a **** 95% **** reduction in the tax.
Without that law, good forestry activity would be maybe 10% of what it
is. Most of these people really don't care about forestry, they care
about lower taxes. Then they need a consultant of course. Under this tax
program we must do thinnings in young stands and precommercial
thinnings.

Also, with higher land values, most landowners realize that if the
forest is butchered the real estate value will suffer, so they are more
interested in a harvest that will look good.

It always seems to come down to money. And the real estate value is the
core of the forestry economics problem. Perhaps where trees grow faster-
in the USA south, cheap land will mean good forestry for company
forestry but there is little company forestry in this area, most forest
land is now owned by wealthy second home owners.

Der Yankee Forestmeister



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