[FULL ARTICLE]: A Crisis of Ethics in the Forestry Etablishment

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Sun Nov 29 10:22:56 EST 1998

Enviro Flyhigh wrote:
> > Timber harvesting on private lands is very different from harvesting on
> > public lands, which in many cases is harvested for high quality timber.
> Please define high quality timber.

The market place defines it; i.e., it's worth more on the stump.

> > In
> > the northeast here, most public lands were purchased for the specific reason
> > of managing for future forest products.
> At the most a half truth.

So, tell us the full truth. <G>

> > A lot of this land had been high
> > graded, clearcut, leaving some of the worse "growing stock" imaginable. So
> > in some cases, clearcutting is needed on public lands to start from scratch
> > and grow high grade timber again.
> That is for commercial interest only and not for forest health.

Clearcutting, when done right, where it's needed for silvicultural
reasons; is NOT against forest health; if that's what you're implying.

> Now we go from high quality timber to high grade timber.  What is timber and
> what is lumber?

duh... it's timber on the stump, and lumber in the lumber yard. Perhaps
you're confused by the term "high grade timber". It doesn't mean timber
that is of "high grade". It means that only the good stuff was cut,
leaving the bad stuff; which is BAD for the health of the forest.

> > Growing and harvesting forest products on
> > public and private lands can and is very sustainable.
> Important Information for All
> In Reference to NFPRA-(H.R.2789)
> Defining some terms:
> A forest is a system, where trees and their associates are so highly ordered in
> their connections that
> they all survive at a high quality state. A forest is like a spiders web. You
> can hardly expect to touch
> any one portion without effecting the whole web.

What's your point? That timber should never be cut? I agree for national
parks, wilderness areas; land owned by Audubon or the Nature
Conservancy; but for all land? So it's like a spider web- you jiggle it
and it readjusts itself; you have to know what  you're doing- as some of
us foresters believe ONLY professional foresters should be managing
timber sales; unfortunately, this is NOT the case.

 A system is a highly ordered
> connection of parts
> and processes that have a predetermined end point - product, service ( In this
> case the universal
> biological currency-glucose. I need it. You need it. The animals need it. We all
> need it). Stress is a
> condition where a system, or its parts, begins to operate near the limits for
> which it was designed.
> Strain is disorder and disruption of a system due to operation beyond the limits
> of stress. Survival
> means that you stay alive and you stay in a working state under conditions that
> have the capacity or
> the ability to kill you. Vigor is the capacity to resist strain; a genetic
> factor, a potential force against
> any threats to survive (We cannot change this). Vitality is the ability to grow
> under the conditions
> present; dynamic action. High quality means as it survives it survives in a
> state that will continue to
> be usable. Low quality means if it does survive it will be in a state that will
> not be usable. Health is
> the ability to resist strain. Old forestry is forestry without the understanding
> of tree biology, i.e., they
> make decisions without understanding trees biology. Soil is a substance made up
> of sands, silts,
> clays, decaying organic matter, air, water and an enormous number of living
> organisms.
> Keep these for future use. Also see My Glossary of Terms on my web site at:
> http://www.chesco.com/~treeman/words/
> The question is how best to increase National Forest Health of Sustainability.
> Present practices or theories involve the following forest treatments due to
> commercial logging
> interests. There is no basis for them
> Misconceptions That You Need Be Aware Of :
> Removal of nurse logs increases or maintains the present health of the forest.

Nurse logs?

> Road building increases or maintains the health of the forest.

Some roads are needed in SOME areas.

> Salvage logging increases or maintains the health of the forest.

True in some cases; exaggerated in others- i.e., it's NOT true or false.

> Planting grass in the forest is beneficial for the trees of the forest.

Who ever said that? In most forests, grass won't survive. Everybody
knows that and if some survived, so what?

> Planting grass increases the health of the forest or maintains it.
> Applying synthetic herbicides increases or maintains the health of the forest.

I don't like herbicides either, or any kind of poison. I think there are
probably better alternatives.

> Herbicides do not harm the living soil.
> Applying synthetic fertilizer ammonium nitrate increases or maintains the health
> of the forest.

Forest fertilizing is seldom done, anywhere- except in the deep south
USA; so what's the problem? It might be OK in some areas; except it may
not be economically justified.

> Changing water patterns increases or maintains the health of the forest.

Who said that?

> Removing trees, dead living or dying, before they are able to return to the soil
> what they have
> removed increases or maintains the health of the forest.

The best thing we could do for the health of the forests is for mankind
to go extinct; but that's not going to happen so SOME forest land will
have to be harvested.

> Thinning of trees rather than allowing the self-thinning rule of ecology to do
> what nature does best
> increases the health or maintains the health of the forest.

This is true when done right. Actually, it's not a question of forest
health- it's a question of silviculture. The health of the forest is
changing either way; thinned or not thinned; but the economics of the
forest will change.

> Removing dead trees increases the health or maintains the health of the forest.

Not done often; so it's not an issue. Loggers don't want dead trees.

> Planting hardwoods in conifer soils, or vice versa, increases or maintains the
> health of the forest.

There is NO such thing as conifer soils or hardwood soils. NOT TRUE. I
could elaborate.

> Chipping mills increase or maintain the health of the forest.

What you MISUNDERSTAND COMPLETELY is that most forestry practices, when
done right are NOT a forest health issue.

> Cutting trees reduces mud slides and increases the health of the forest.

Where did you hallucinate this one? Nobody has said this.

> Insects are the primary cause of forest health decline.

They can be, sometimes. What's your point?

> Salvage logging decreases morbidity and mortality of the forest trees.


> Timbering practices reduces forest fires.

It may increase forest fires, if done sloppily.

> Drought has caused forest decline.

In most places; drought doesn't last long enough. I doubt anyone has
said this.

> And if there is any proper research to back any of that up I want to be the
> first to know about it.

The problem is that you are misunderstanding much of what you read on
the subject; interpreting in the way you want to; without understanding

> However, many reviewed papers and work by some of the worlds finest tree
> biologists and forest
> pathologists strongly suggest the decline in forest health is due to present
> commercial extract
> practices and it is getting worst and they are hitting the forest harder.

The BIGGEST BY FAR CAUSE of forest health problems is the DESTRUCTION of
forests for development reasons; not ordinary properly carried forestry
practices. All this energy you put into resisting ordinary forestry
practices would be better spend fighting the developers.

> Note, most work titled FOREST RESEARCH focused strictly on trees, and removal of
> and not
> forest health as I have defined.
> (NOTE, nurse logs are water reservoirs for trees during dry times and lack of
> such has reduced the
> vitality of the soil thus reducing the vitality of the trees within the tree
> farm. A wooded area without
> nurse logs is not a forest, it is a tree farm and a unsustainable one.)

You haven't a clue. Go into most forests that are under forest
management and you will find PLENTY of your nurse logs; too many
probably. Loggers don't remove much of the top material from cut trees
and seldom remove dead trees; except in those intensively managed tree
farms in the south where the land is plowed, trees grown like corn,
clearcut, plowed, etc. This type of tree farming represents a small
percentage of "tree farming" in North America.

> I am willing to meet in DC and discuss these issues.
> Sincerely,
> John A. Keslick, Jr.
> Tree Biologist, Tree Anatomist , Professional Modern Arborist
> Member: The Bio-Dynamic Farming & Gardening Association, Inc.
> Plus Certified Chester County Master Composter
> My Resume: http://www.chesco.com/~treeman/resume.html

The problem here is you are out of your domain, discussing forestry

Joe Zorzin, Professional Mud Forester
z-mail, list server, for the Massachusetts forestry revolution of '98
read about it at http://forestmeister.com/z-mail.html
proposed forester license regs for Mass. and comments 
by K.Davies at http://forestmeister.com/regs.html

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list