The Politics of Forestry- was- Re: State Forestry

Andrew Heggie sylva at
Sat Jan 3 15:57:45 EST 1998

larryc at (Larry Caldwell) wrote:

>Joe, you should qualify your comments as applying to North American forestry,
>or the lack thereof.  We've been mining legacy forests for centuries.  First
>we cut the continent east of the Mississippi, and when that was flattened we
>moved west.  Up to the last 50 years, the great western forest seemed
>inexhaustable.  In fact, they never did manage to cut quite all of it.
I think we should have learned better but it happened in the old world
first, and most of the timber was probably wasted in the process of
making arable and grazing land.

>As long as Ma Nature was handing out 600 year timber for free, there was
>no way forestry could pay its way.  In Europe, they've been managing forest
>land a bit longer.  The last of the Schwartzwald disappeared about a
>hundred years ago, and the British forest has been gone for about 200 years.
In fact UK woodland cover was probably down to the 12% area by iron
age times, one of the attractions of Britain to the Romans was as a
grain growing area to sustain their home economy.
<Much good stuff snipped>
>With that prospect, you're on the winning side of history.  It will
>be payday for private landowners who raise timber, which means they
>will be able to afford to hire foresters. 
We waited for this since 1974, however our economy still kids us it
can afford to import 85% of our wood needs such that it is not
possible to economically thin a lot of our new woodlands, I understand
Japan is in a similar position, as a result we have just about lost
our home forest culture.

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