25' buffer around ponds

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Sat Aug 15 12:26:22 EST 1998

KMorrisD wrote:
> Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:
> >Bad logging results in such potential damage as-
> >1. fire hazard
> >2. silvicultural degradation- (long term financial impact)
> >3. aesthetic impact
> >4. possible minor damage to streams
> We know the impacts are minor relative to industrial pollution and large scale
> development.  But there are many people who just hate logging, even carefully
> done logging.  They and the environmental (DEP) burros that they complain to
> are the big problem.

I've been told that too, but at least around here I've never come across
anyone complaining about logging as a general principle, only logging
that was extremely poorly done, and not much of that either. Perhaps the
DEP burros want us to BELIEVE that a lot of people are complaining.

> Of course the DEP burros love these complaints because it gives them more to
> do--and more power.  In recent years they've used the threat to water quality
> (negligible in this region) as a tool to try to control forestry and logging to
> the point of virtually shutting us down.
> The cutting practices law in MA was designed expressly to head off the people
> who hated logging, and prevent them from writing different restrictive rules
> for each town, and to keep the DEP burros out of the woods.  The timber
> industry and all stripes of foresters were responsible for that law.  They
> wanted one set of rules for all towns and no DEP.  That was progress.
> But unfortunately we were left with a situation where `our` burros (DEM) are
> supposedly defending us foresters, loggers and landowners against `their`
> burros (DEP).
> What you say makes perfect sense, but the political reality is such that, in
> the absence of a VERY STRONG consulting foresters' organization, we're going to
> have rulebooks and burros.

Rulebooks yes, if they're more intelligently written- such as the title
of this thread indicates- there isn't much intelligence in this 25'
rule. It's too arbitrary. In some cases it's not enough, in other's it's
too much. Some discretion needs to be given to PROFESSIONAL FORESTERS. I
wonder if there is a surgeons rule book, with a Dr's burro looking over
his shoulder? The HMO's do this, but mostly watching the flow of money,
not the flow of blood nor the extent of pain and suffering. And
certainly the role of burros needs overhauling- instead of the current
buggy whips.

> > If the licensed forester really fouls
> >up- such that there is a negative impact on the neighbors, then the guy
> >who hires the licensed forester and/or the neighbors have to deal with
> >the problem like they deal with a problem with any contractor.
> The lawyers would like the sound of this. <G>  I think there is a need for
> dispute resolution that doesn't involve lawyers, but can involve other
> foresters--preferably not burro foresters.
> > If a licensed forester doesn't do his/her job correctly, he
> >will be subject to losing his license-
> But who defines `correctly`?  Even with clearly written laws and regulations,
> there will be differences of interpretation.  That needs to be anticipated and
> dealt with by foresters, not lawyers and burros.

By "correctly" I mean if there is some reason to believe that some kind
of catastrophe results- a forest fire, a flood, etc.--- not
silvicultural matters- that's not the concern of the public. We'll never
agree on silviculture, but we have to assume some sort of silviculture
will be applied by someone who is qualified to know better.

> It's imporant to realize in discussions about these issues that burros have
> historically served a purpose in society.  They have served as buffers between
> private and public (or other private) interests.  They have kept the lawyers
> out of the picture (and have enriched themselves almost like lawyers in the
> process).

I agree, I'm not a libertarian- in fact I'm a card carrying liberal. But
when a certain burro job becomes analogous to a buggy whip, time for

> Now that consulting foresters and professional loggers are coming of age, the
> burros are no longer necessary.  But the FUNCTION they served--mediating
> conflict--still needs to be performed.  The big question is who will perform
> that function and how?

Probably a forester professional association, like what happens in any
other profession- it will contain consultants, industrial, and even a
few professors. And there may be a need for a skeleton staff of burros.


Joseph Zorzin, Yankee Forestmeister
"Still, after 18 months and counting, the only forestry web page in the
otherwise sophisticated state of Massachusetts, the Athens of the
western hemisphere."
"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."
Henry David Thoreau

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