Christians for zero cut

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Thu Oct 29 19:10:41 EST 1998

In article <71afvk$r3a$1 at>, brian_n_miller at 
> In article <36389013.2231766 at>,
>   localhost at wrote:

> >  - Only 3-4% of timber sales in the Pacific NW come from public lands. I
> > think its about 10% in the east. (??)

> I've read that the east has the highest proportion of logging on
> private land.  I doubt your numbers.

While public holdings are much smaller in the east, they generally can be 
harvested without restriction.  In the PNW, the federal government owns 
approximately 59% of all forest land, but current restrictions sharply 
limit the amount of timber that can be harvested.

> > Sustainability is a very hard term to define.

> That's exactly why logging should be allowed only on private property.
> Future generations don't deserve to have their public forests trashed
> while bureaucrats and robber barons argue over what is sustainable.

You are fighting an issue that was resolved a generation ago.  The feds 
were the last to start replanting and forest management, but even they 
have been doing it religiously for 25 years.  The next generation is 
going to have plenty of wood.  Trees grow.

You should instead be concentrating on what we have now, and how much of 
what we have needs to be maintained.  If you want to argue that a third 
of Western North America needs to be maintained as a nature refuge, you 
will have to support that argument.

> When private land is used, my hope is that the owner would be concerned
> as hell about the profit potential of sustainability.  And those owners
> who don't zealously insist on sustainability get stuck with sterile plots.
> That's market justice.  The moment we give loggers rape-and-run access to
> vast public lands, market justice evaporates, and we're left with eroding
> hills as public heirlooms.  Let the market define sustainability, and let it
> happen on private land.

Once again, you are a generation late, though your sentiment is 
admirable.  Nobody has rape-and-run access to any kind of timber anywhere 
in the west, and particularly not on public lands.  Probably the worst 
timber management being practiced is on small private lots, where gypo 
outfits will take advantage of the ignorance of small landowners.  Often 
they can buy the land for less than the value of the standing timber, log 
it, and resell the land for whatever it will bring.  

Timber sales on public lands are pretty tightly regulated, and of course 
the big industrial forest companies are really good at silviculture.

> >  - Old growth is a very general term.  Do you mean trees older than 50
> > years? 100? 200? or do you mean virgin forests?
> Old growth encompasses more than just virgin forests.  It takes 80 years
> for a tree to grow enough moss to attract a marbled murrielet for nesting.
> That is old growth, virgin or not, and if the public owns it then the
> private robber barons should be denied access.  I'll let biologists define
> old growth exactly, and I'm sure the age threshold would vary based on forest
> composition.

You need to tighten up your logic a bit.  Murrelets are shore birds, and 
aren't found inland.  If you manage exclusively for the habitat of one 
species it can be at the expense of other species.  Currently, there is 
no evidence of threatened terrestrial vertebrate species in Oregon.  
Anadromous fish have problems, but those problems are as much related to 
dams, agriculture, urban waste and overfishing as they are to logging.  
Bird numbers, like your Murrelet or the northern spotted owl, are 
responding well to better logging management.  

Even before the first settlers arrived, less than half of Oregon's Coast 
Range was old growth, and over a third of it was recently burned.  The 
whole ecosystem evolved around frequent disturbance.  Either burn it or 
log it, your choice.  What you can't do is turn it into a tree museum 
without destroying it.
> > Should Old growth be off limits if it is privately owned?
> I wish yes.  But currently the Constitution favors private property over
> nature.

It doesn't matter.  There is no privately held old growth left in the 
USA.  Just ask us.  :)  I've got some trees that are over 5' dbh, but 
those are landscaping shrubs.  Heck, I went out and pruned them a couple 
years ago just to establish that fact.

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