Oregon timber revenues may be slashed

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Mon Aug 3 11:26:06 EST 1998


In article <1998080301275700.VAA14254 at ladder03.news.aol.com>,
  jnpbuck at aol.com (JNPBUCK) wrote:
> >"We'd like to see a sustainbale forestry model,"
> >Binus said. "We can't sustain this rate of ecological devastation."
>
> And they call that sustainable?

Taking the devil's advocate position: yes. It seemed to work well for the
several thousand years since "Native" Americans moved in and the rest of us
appeared.

  They want to take away some of the tools in a
> forester's toolbox to manage a healthy forest.  And why must these groups
> always pretend they have this "sustainable forestry model" holy grail?  So the
> voters are supposed to pick between THEIR version of sustainable and
> "ecological devastation".  As a forester myself, I've seen/studied hundreds of
> clearcuts and can say that a VERY few can be called ecologically devastated.
> Those few unsuccessful clearcuts are not reason to ban them.  There are
> unsuccessful or devastating human surgeries aren't there? Should we ban
> surgeries all together?  But I digress...
>

I have questions about your implied successful clearcuts. We know how to
plant trees. The mycorrhizal interface which allows trees to grow is just
barely known. (Douglas fir is known to form mycorrhizae with at least 2500
mycorrhizal species by itself.) Few mycorrhizal fungi have been cultivated to
date, of probably 4,000-6500 species known at present. Many of these species
have been shown to have greater value than the trees they are associated
with, i.e. chanterelles, matsutake, truffles. _And_, fungi are truly
perennial crops.

And we are still finding more of these essential fungi. Last Saturday I
believe I found 4 species which are new to me. And I don't think all four
have even been described as yet. Foresters *should be* aware of these fungi,
since without them trees form bonzai in nature, often in recent lava flows.

I agree that too often "forester" is being equated with "logger." Umm...wonder
why?

> I've NEVER seen a LOGGER spray herbicides on one of their clearcuts that they
> harvested.  It's usually the forester that is in charge of a spraying job.
> It's one of my pet peeves that people assume that Logger and forester are
> synonymous terms.  People can get the idea that we just let loggers loose in
> the forest cutting down whichever trees they choose.  Or as a forester I just
> go out each day with my chainsaw and start cutting without worry of replanting.
>

The reasoning is simple: until reforestation was required by law, clearcuts
were not replanted.

[snip]
>
> I'd better stop where I am, my bloodpressure is skyrocketing.  Do these groups
> have no sense whatsoever?
>
> Paul Buckland
> Forester
> Paul Buckland
> Forester
> Inland Empire Paper Co.
>

There is something to be learned from their viewpoint, Paul. For instance,
the Douglas fir trees I've inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi have been
growing 2-4 times as fast as "normal", although admittedly they are grown on
fairly flat ground. More importantly, they are producing annual crops of
truffles, which in turn are sold for $100 per pound. An individual tree can
produce .25-3.5 pounds per tree per annum. At that rate, there is some
question over which is more valuable: the forest or the fungi. (BTW, most of
these trees are only 20 years old, although I have also found the same
truffles with trees at least 150 years old.

Daniel B. Wheeler
http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com

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