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The Truth ISN'T Out There

KMorrisD kmorrisd at aol.com
Sun Aug 23 18:37:06 EST 1998

larryc at teleport.com (Larry Caldwell) wrote:

>Here in Oregon, state 
>foresters certainly tell you where your tree is on the growth curve, and 
>when it makes sense to harvest.  Trees around here do nothing for the 
>first 15 years.  Then they enter their growth curve, and stay there for 
>about 50-70 years, with judicious thinning. 


Unless I misunderstand your use of the term `growth curve,` it seems that you
confirm my basic argument.  If by growth curve you mean mean annual increment
curve, then you are talking about VOLUME INCREASE only.  

My basic argument is that trees also grow in grade value as they advance from
one grade to the next, and in real market value as stumpage prices increase
faster than the rate of inflation.

Around here volume growth rates are 3-5% per year with decent management. 
Grade value growth rates are about the same on the better trees which account
for most of the value in a stand: 3-5%.  And over the past 20 years, real
market value increase rates have also been about 3-5%.

Therefore state and other foresters who only look at volume increases
underestimate the actual rate of VALUE INCREASE by a factor of 3.  The big
question is whether this is deliberate or not.  

If the justification for their jobs is that growing trees is not profitable and
therefore needs government subsidies, it would seem that their `ignorance`
could well be deliberate.  But of course there could be other factors as well.



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