Owls Created Jobs

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Sat Mar 27 14:33:21 EST 1999

In article <36FBCCA3.CB310C92 at olympus.net>,
  Michael Hagen <mhagen at olympus.net> wrote:
> Whoever thinks that forestry jobs of any kind increased because of the
> Owl has their head firmly up their  (nope can't say that) ....   Lets
> just say that the only ones left have had to learn many new and
> unexpected skills and hell no there isn't nearly enough to go around.
> Odd that there's a forester licensing law on the horizon, to further
> weed out the mob.

Oops! Guess my business isn't forestry related after all. And to think I had
to wait for the above-stated ex-pert to point it out.

> There was indeed a rush to cut on smaller private forest lands, but that
> is largely done and out here in washington, seldom involved a Forester.
> As far as leave trees go, we're in a transition period from clearcut
> mentality to a more uneven aged silviculture. Meaning, most what was
> left used to be the poorly formed, the "safe", the damaged and such,
> just so a 95% harvest could not be called a "clearcut". The "sloppy
> forestry" scenario was actually presented a a good thing, by early New
> Forestry practitioners. More LWD on the ground, less site prep, lots of
> suppressed whips which would become incorporated into the next stand,
> etc. It was a major leap to start leaving good, prime crop trees as the
> overstory. Especially when these run the risk of blowing down before the
> next harvest.  This practice still hasn't quite taken hold among the
> older generation and blasting the tops off good timber (to make snags if
> there aren't enough real ones) simply drives them to tears.(almost)

As for the "older generation", who do you think taught us? Some of us learn
from history. Others are condemned to repeat it.

Regarding snag-blasting, I know of only one forester who has done this in
Oregon, and he received a state tree farmer award for his efforts. His
efforts have produced habitat trees for birds, and habitat for carpenter
ants. The ants are especially important, since they are ravenous predators of
gypsy moth larvae.

BTW, the Northern Spotted owl _is_ a strong indicator species for forest
health. Without its predation on California Red-backed voles and Northern
Flying squirrels, and the subsequent distribution of ectomycorrhizal fungi
older trees probably would not exist today. The available data convinced a
federal judge of the owl's importance. Your lack of knowledge _does not_
refute that data.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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