Rain Forest Myths

Jim jcampbell90 at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 9 08:25:48 EST 2000

    Karl Davies wrote in message <39DDB9F5.D37610C5 at daviesand.com>...

    They flew over it and met all the environmental authorities!  They studied satellite pictures of the entire area!  This is "good science?"  Sheesh! 

        Unfounded conjecture is persuading nobody. Comments like yours have inspired 
        my own involvement in countering the wrong thinking out there. Stott backs 
        his findings with data, not conjecture.
    What data???  I didn't see any data in that rant you copied.  When Moore and Stott did their thing earlier this year, they didn't gather any data.  They didn't reference any data by others either.  These guys are CORPORATE PROPAGANDISTS, pure and simple.  They're running interference for corporate clearcutters and high-graders who want to cut more rainforest timber.  Here's what they were trying to counteract (copied from http://www.solcomhouse.com/rainforest.html): 
    Why is it that you expect of others what you don't provide? Researchers are entitled to make general statements via articles, based on their research. It isn't necessary to always include the data itself. Data is available upon request.  Your own observations are deficient in data, appearing purely subjective and un-founded "rantings" as you put it.  You make a charge here that is unfounded speculation out of inner fears.  Find data and be objective. Otherwise, increase your respectability by either agreeing or disagreeing with statements, and offering your own thoughts based on something besides your fears.
    A report in the current issue of Nature Magazine puts in doubt 
     the official Brazilian Government report of destruction of the 
     Rainforest. The real extent of rainforest damage in the Amazon 
     is more than twice as great as present estimates suggest, 
     researchers say. 

     The report says field surveys of logging and burning show far 
     more deforestation than satellite monitoring has revealed. The 
     researchers are based at several Brazilian and US institutions, 
     including the Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts. 
     They interviewed 1,393 wood mill operators, representing more 
     than half the mills in 75 Amazonian logging centers. They also 
     interviewed 202 landlords, whose properties covered 9,200 sq 

    At todays satellite and aerial photo resolutions, there is no excuse 

    for inability to "see" the truth about rainforest conditions. Its there

    and available for all to see. Order your own and take a look. It

    doesn't take a genius.  Mill location and available desired stock

    are simply  not in the same economic sphere.

     One specific area of the Rainforest in Brazil was classified as 
     62% forested according to conventional deforestation mapping 
     . But the study found that only about a tenth of the area 
     classified as forest actually supported undisturbed forest. The 
     researchers say the failure so far to register the much greater 
     loss rate they have discovered is because the loggers reduce 
     tree cover, but do not eliminate it. 

    Good forestry. More thinning, less clearcutting, maintaining


    [KD Note:  This is called HIGH-GRADING, ie, cutting the best and leaving the rest.] 

    Have you seen the statistics on that? Without data I would assume the choices are

    mostly species and minimum stump diameter. In remote areas like those, tree size 

    is extremely important for hauling economy.  Mature trees are the 'victims', not species 


    The research also discovered 
     that fires burning on the surface consume large areas of forest 
     which again are not recorded. And where logging and fires have 
     caused damage the vegetation will grow back fast enough to 
     mask the true state of the Rainforest and distort the findings of a 

    We have models for photo interpretation based on ground observation. Trained

    interpreters aren't fooled- only novices are.  Conversions to agri employ large-scale

    burning of slash. If anyone has a 'beef' over that, it is with the agri folks there.

    I see little GREEN complaint/connections to sharing of problems among agri

    interests, which far out-weigh logging interests.  It's the same problem in US

    river bottoms.  Agri is converting bottomland forest without a wimper from 

    opponents of clearcutting. I witness thousands of acres of conversion, and never 

    a protester.

      "Satellite-based deforestation monitoring is an essential tool in 
     studies of human effects on tropical forests, because it 
     documents the most extreme form of land use, over large areas, 
     and at low cost. But this monitoring needs to be expanded to 
     include forests affected by logging and surface fire if it is to 
     accurately reflect the full magnitude of human influences on 
     tropical forests."researchers said in the report. 

    The author needs a remote sensing introduction course to get eyes opened.

    The technology is sufficient.  The problem is the resource in the wrong hands.


    Karl Davies, Practicing Forester 

    I tried to email this address and get consistent failures of delivery.

    Jim Campbell, forester

    jcampbell90 at hotmail.com

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