The Awful Truth

Karl Davies karl at
Mon Mar 13 20:22:29 EST 2000

Doug Halliwell wrote:

> Karl:
> It is late in the evening and I don't have a lot of time to deal with all of
> the issues that were brought up in "The
> Awful Truth" but would like to mention a few things.  For one thing, I am a
> practicing forester with a state agency and have been doing it for about 32
> years, so am one of your buro crats.

My deepest sympathies. <G>

> Your broad smears are an insult to
> someone who has spent almost their entire working life trying to improve the
> forest resource.

Joe Zorzin and I hear this all the time.  We paint with a broad brush, we make
broad smears, etc, etc.  We know it's risky to generalize, but we've yet to
encounter any Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns in any of the forestry burrocracies.
So until we do, we'll probably just keep it up.  BTW, which burrocracy are you a
part of?

> Sure, that include some cutting, some thinning, some
> regeneration and some leaving the dam thing alone.  Over the years, I have
> sold more landowners on woodland management through esthetics, wildlife and
> recreation than from any monetary gain from cutting trees.

That would figure.  How fast do you tell them their trees can grow with good
management?  Would I be too far off in guessing 3-5%?

> The Forest
> Management plans our agency writes encompass the entire resource, including
> wildlife, water, riparian areas, recreation, etc,etc,etc.  Cutting timber is
> only one tool among several.  All of our timber sales are on the basis of a
> selectively marked, scaled, bid process.

Great.  That's really nice of you.  How much do you charge for your services?

> If the landowner is not willing to
> allow scientific management, we bow out.  As we do not have any mandatory
> forest management laws, that is the best we can do.

Right.  So on the other 95% of the land in your state you get rampant
high-grading, correct?

> Licensing of Foresters
> would have little effect, as our foresters are very well trained and we have
> a strict code of ethics that is obeyed, or they are fired.

Doug, I'm afraid you miss the point entirely.  We're talking licensing of
PRIVATE foresters, not state foresters.  You're not from one of those states
where there are no consulting foresters due to the monopoly of the state
forestry burrocracy, are you?

> You seem to have it in for loggers (there is not doubt that some of them are
> bad apples and I have had my share of trouble with them), however, without
> them (believe it or not, some of them can look to the future and appreciate
> a sustainable resource) it would not be possible to manage our forests.  You
> do enjoy a nice piece of golden oak  or hard maple furniture, don't you.

Gee, thanks for not doing the toilet paper rap. <G>

> You are asking for a simplistic answer to a complicated problem.  I am a
> REAL forester and I do know what the heck is going on.  If you want to carry
> on a constructive dialog, it will by my pleasure to do so with you and the
> rest of this group.   There are real problems out their and a open
> discussion about them would be profitable.

OK.  How about we start with a discussion of how to put an end state-subsidized,
burrocratic forestry everywhere in the USA?

Karl Davies, Practicing Forester

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