Carbon Forest Management?

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sat Oct 17 17:27:20 EST 1998

In article <19981015234344.04074.00001121 at>,
  kmorrisd at (KMorrisD) wrote:
> dwheeler at wrote:
> >But more
> >importantly, older-growth forests that withstand environmental conditions of
> >the area sequester carbon for longer periods of time, which actually means a
> >point for managing for old-growth forests in the coastal areas of the Pacific
> >Northwest.
> I believe there's a point in the development of all forests when net carbon
> sequestration levels off and begins to decline, usually about when they
> approach old growth status.  Of course then they become carbon repositories,
> and it's hard to argue for cutting unless there are uses for the lumber which
> would take the carbon out of circulation for a very long time.
> If the highest use for old growth forests is pulp for paper, due to poor timber
> quality, then they should be left uncut--from a carbon silviculture point of
> view because paper will go into landfills and the carbon will go right back
> into the atmosphere--except for those of us who tend to store paper carbon in
> (wooden) file cabinets for long periods of time. <G>
Isn't that why you got your computer: to sequester large amounts of carbon in
paper in filing drawers? <G>

> >And the smoke would
> >not be allowed now as it was during the days when Native Americans were doing
> >exactly the same thing to assist elk and deer hunting (no brush means greater
> >distance to see the game, especially during bad weather such as snow storms
> >when game tends to congregate under full-canopy forests for wind protection).
> There were lots of other reasons for Native Americans' use of fire/controlled
> burning which mainly had to do with recycling nutrients into forms (grasses,
> buds/seedlings, berries, nuts) that wildlife and people could use.  Very good
> carbon silviculture compared to industrial (fossil fuel) agriculture. <G>
Admittedly there were other uses. But according to the Siletz and Warm Springs
tribal members, the principal reason was to be able to see game (and
mushrooms?). <G>

> >The western chestnuts are so inter-hybridized now that I'm not sure if a
> >single "species" exists. Then again, if the species hybridize freely, were
> >they ever separate species to begin with?
> Good question!  I believe there was a paper about this in the annual reports of
> the Northern Nut Growers Association a few years back.  Somebody hypothesized
> that all chestnut species went back to the forests of Kirghizistan (sp?) or
> someplace, where there are also walnut and hazel trees.  The original Garden of
> Eden? <G>

I think Oregon had some of the earliest fossil records of gingko, metasequoia
(Dawn redwood), sycamore, and chestnut. I think they originated from the
Clarno Fosil beds. I remember seeing a display of nuts from these beds
recently displayed at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) within
the last year, mixed in with fossil remains of early horses (Eohippus).

It has seemed odd to me that both Gingko biloba and Metasequoia had to be re-
imported from China after the last ice age.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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