Undersecretary asks for old-growth logging end

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Tue Dec 19 01:01:14 EST 2000

In article <cPp%5.11249$sw.968916 at nntp2.onemain.com>,
  "Larry Harrell" <fotoware at jps.net> wrote:
> <truffler1635 at my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:91itbl$li$1 at nnrp1.deja.com...
> > In article <9zV_5.10784$sw.691549 at nntp2.onemain.com>,
> >   "Larry Harrell" <fotoware at jps.net> wrote:
> > >
> > > <truffler1635 at my-deja.com> wrote in message
> > > news:919vm3$87d$1 at nnrp1.deja.com...
> > > > From The Oregonian, Dec. 13, 2000, p B1
> > > >
> > > > Comment by poster: I can see why Lyons would want to leave public
> office
> > > > at this time. I also see a relationship to the announcement today that
> > > > "W" is the next president of the United States. Coincidence? Perhaps
> not.
> > > >
> > > > Posted as a courtesy by
> > > > Daniel B. Wheeler
> > > > www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
> > > >
> > >
> > > Actually, Lyons has pissed off Congress so much that, they did not fund
> his
> > > position anymore. His track record appears to be so awful because of the
> > > gridlock within the Forest Service. It's a job that is nearly impossible
> to
> > > please the public, which is his actual employer, and Congress, which
> funds
> > > the USDA budget.
> > I agree with most of what you say, Larry. But ultimately it is Congress
> > which seems to have a lack of direction. That purposelessness was quickly
> > seen in the FS and the USDA. I don't see it getting any better now:
> > probably worse.
> Tell me about it! Congress installs a rider that funds the USFS to harvest
> 3.6 billion board feet but seems to not understand that we cannot accomplish
> anything anywhere near that under the present rules, laws and policies.
> > >
> > > Comment by poster: I'm out in the woods everyday and I don't agree with
> > > ending ALL old growth cutting. Personally, I think we can do a VERY
> > > THINNING of CLUMPS of old growth trees while thinning the understory as
> > > well.
> > I theory, neither am I. But such thinning would be so much less than most
> > timber companies are interested in doing, that the public would end up
> > paying for it all. I doubt much commercial timber would be removed,
> > certainly not enough to pay for the thinning operation itself.
> Down here in California, there are plenty of timber sales sold that harvests
> trees in the 9-22 inch category. Picking and plucking a few larger trees
> would boost the volume (that evil word <G>) and improve the health of those
> clumps the trees are harvested from. I would propose that only unhealthy,
> suppressed or dying trees within a clump of large trees be available for
> cutting while retaining the proper snags per acre (whatever THAT is?? <
> > > I don't think this should be done until monopoly issues in the timber
> > > industry are dealt with. The American public needs to get the full value
> of
> > > those harvested old growth trees, when and if they do get harvested.
> > My disagreement here is that by using the term "harvest" you imply such
> > trees can be grown. Cultivation of old-growth trees has _never_ been *
> > proven*, even here in the PNW where trees grow rapidly. I have yet to see
> > a single tree which logger or private forester could point to and say in
> > honesty "I planted that tree in 1630 and have grown it ever since." I
> > don't think I'm likely to, either. <G>
> But, I can certainly point to individual trees within a stand and say, "I
> saved that big tree back in 1986. Just look at it now!" Those leave trees
> will be tomorrow's old growth and are considered by some as old growth
> already. How old does a tree have to be to be considered old growth? USFS
> cruising rules say that a 24 inch dbh tree is old growth. Some say that 150
> years old makes it old growth.
That's an interesting question, Larry. I can tell you that it varies from
site to site: perhaps that's the problem. Near Valsetz Lake a 150 year
old tree may be 6 to 8 feet diameter, and about 200 feet or more high at
600 feet elevation (sorry, when you get into these, you can hardly see
the tops standing under them).

A similar tree near Timothy Lake may be 500-800 years old, have 12-inch
diameter Pacific yew as an understory tree, but only be 5 feet in

The differences are one of site productivity: one site is in a low-
elevation rain-forest; the other in a high-elevation site near the limit
of its elevation in the Cascades.

That points out what a one-size-fits-all management method just doesn't
work well.
> > > Unfortunately, the bidding on USFS sales is very flat and monopolies and
> > > "collusion" has been rumored to have occurred..
> > And the hostile take-over of Willamette by Weyerhaeuser may be simply
> > another attempt to cash in on an already strapped business. Or, it may be
> > a thoughtful attempt to cash in on recently passed Oregon's Measure 7,
> > which could repay property owners for the lack of harvesting on their
> > property due to sensitive species restrictions. BTW, that measure is now
> > being decided in the court system, which may rule the measure
> > unconstitutional.
> >
> > Daniel B. Wheeler
> > www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
> >
> Maybe we need to revamp the rules and standards regarding minimum bids on
> timber sales? Unfortunately, if we do that, we (the USFS), risk having the
> sale not sell and the American public loses the substantial prep costs.
Well call me an optimist, but it occurs to me if the USFS is only
assessing the timber value of a site, they are probably ignoring 100-200
other economic fungi which could be collected on the same land year after
year and have greater overall value. Managing only for timber, IMHO, is
stupid! And any management plan that ignores fungus is, by definition,
> There has to be some way of increasing competition for USFS timber sales and
> getting full market value for the timber. It's a VERY complex issue and is
> tied to private timber values as well. Many private landowners want USFS
> timber locked up to make their own timber more valuable.
It would certainly give private timber owners (like myself) a reason to
manage their timber lands differently than now.
 If we (the American
> public), can't get full value from our large timber, it's better to let it
> grow and put on value and volume.
I don't think any management scenario is complete without considering the
increased water retention of old-growth stands, as well as the
recreational possibilities of an increasingly crowded populace.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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