forestry and the metric system

Mike Hagen mhagen at
Thu Jun 25 11:15:32 EST 1998

Units of measure need to have a tie to the people using them. With
calculators readily available there should be no need for everyone to
use the same system. It's a complex world, why simplify?
  Liters seem to go with wine. Grams with aspirin.  Meters or feet
work equally well for daily use. However adjusting a traverse by hand
in metric isn't as easy as it is in english. For my survey program
it's a snap. Celsius degrees are too big... Swimming temperatures (F)
are in the 80s and up, not that I want to be poached like an egg. For
me, plain "Board feet" don't mean that much but MBF does. MBF/acre is
a usable number. MBF or whatever/hectare is too big, way too many
truckloads, which usually are in the 3MBF/load size. Timber fallers
here are also called "bushelers". Figure that one out! Tons are easy.
Pulpwood goes by the ton. Metric tons are very close, just 200 lbs
off. Cubic measure? Cubic meters are fairly near yds3 but still off
from cunits (100ft3), which while hard to visualize are really useful
for conversions in a spreadsheet. Metric degrees? I've done 'em but
don't even want to think about it.
Good topic.

Al Stangenberger wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Jun 1998 21:13:32 -0400, Joseph Zorzin
> <redoak at> wrote:
> >And ... let's see, where else do we need to go modern with metric?
> >Hectares instead of acres?
> >
> Since many legal property boundaries are already fixed, does
> converting the measurements to metric really make sense?  All you
> would do is to translate some possibly unwieldy English measurements
> into their metric equivalents which are probably even more  unwieldy.
> For example, a section is 80 chains on a side.  Does measuring the
> same property in meters (1609 meters per side if my arithmetic is
> correct) really simplify things?

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