Group Appreciation

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Wed Mar 11 06:53:22 EST 1998

LRLake wrote:

> There is always someone out there who has to ask the tough questions.  I'll
> give them a shot:

> 3.  In terms of private land management, the regulations have had a mixed
> result depending on the ownership.  Industrial land management has improved in
> terms of regeneration and stand management but not, for all ownerships, in
> terms of maintenance of optimal growing stock retention.  I think the rules are
> promoting a situation where this is improving, however.  If it takes 100 yrs.
> to grow a forest, it doesn't seem unreasonable that it takes 20+ years for
> owners and managers to adapt to change.
> For small landowners, I think the results are less favorable.  Small owners'
> costs have risen significantly and their short-term interests tend to be
> clouded with changes in ownership and short-term goals.  The system still tends
> to protect these individual property rights as long as minimum requirements are
> met.  Not total gestapo, yet, for the small guy.

Small landowners are more prevalent in the East than in the West.  The problem is
not that more foresters are needed to oversee mgmt., but landowner goals must be
geared from short-term to long-term thinking.  If you get to the position that
foresters must prepare mgmt and harvesting plans on all lands, don't you also start
to dictate how the lands will be managed?  If so, is that the state's

> 6.  Generally speaking, the licensing of foresters, loggers and the requirement
> of timber harvest plans, prepered by a forester, combined with the rules of the
> board of forestry, have significantly reduced impacts to nontimber resources
> and provided the context within which growing stock is increasing instead of
> being systematically depleted.  I know there are some studies, and foresters,
> which would not agree, but I think it is so.

Pennsylvania has no laws governing foresters, and minimal on loggers.  There are no
certifications to be had from the state, although there are industrial
certification which can reduce Workman's Comp.  Property taxes on forestland is
relatively low in the rural areas.  There are no taxes on harvesting.  When you
look at the timber resources of PA, you'll see that we are growing timber twice as
fast as we are removing it.  Growth is increasing in all diameter classes, and for
most species.  The timber industry is one of the top 5 industries in the state, I
believe after agriculture and coal mining.  Wildlife is on the increase, fishing is
good, water quality is good, and population is not increasing too dramatically.
For these reasons, I doubt if PA will ever have laws that are even close to what
you have in California.  Licensing foresters and loggers would be driven more from
a consumer protection standpoint, but that won't happen anytime soon..  I wonder
how the other states stack up and if these aren't the reasons that there is less
state involvement?


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