Rain Forest Myths

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Mon Oct 9 14:53:57 EST 2000

Jim wrote:

>      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.

Jim, you're the one who said, "Stott backs his findings with
data, not conjecture." So, the responsibility is on you and
Stott to prove your case- with the data.

>      ************************************************
>      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
>       km.
>      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.

I'll trust Woods Hole over anything your or Stott says. They are
a proven scientific research facility of the highest standards.

>       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
>      sustainability.

You don't really believe that they are down there practicing
silviculture do  you? Are you that naive? <G>

>      [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.

Right, like Karl said, it's HIGH GRADING .

>      In remote areas like those, tree size
>      is extremely important for hauling economy.  Mature
>      trees are the 'victims', not species
>      composition.
>      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
>       satellite.
>      We have models for photo interpretation based on
>      ground observation. Trained
>      interpreters aren't fooled- only novices are.

What "trained interpreters"??? Guys working for the mills? And
there down there all over the Amazon doing field studies? I
doubt it.

>       Conversions to agri employ large-scale
>      burning of slash. If anyone has a 'beef' over that,
>      it is with the agri folks there.

The forests are burning all over the Amazon and in Indonesia,
and often not due to agricultural clearing. Like, is it really
necessary for the human race to try growing food in the rain
forests? It doesn't work. The rain forests are lousy for that
purpose. And, the agri folks would have more trouble doing this
if the loggers didn't go through first high grading the place
and opening up roads.

>      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.

Good point. We should bring this travesty to their attention.

>        "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.

It is a useful tool, but it doesn't tell all.

>      The technology is sufficient.  The problem is the
>      resource in the wrong hands.
>      ***********************************************
>      Karl Davies, Practicing Forester
>      http://www.daviesand.com
>      I tried to email this address and get consistent
>      failures of delivery.
>      Jim Campbell, forester
>      jcampbell90 at hotmail.com

Joe  Zorzin

SAF Party meeting

"I also want to ask what is wrong with 'right-wing politics'"
posted in SAF News on 9/11/2000 by
Karl Wenger, 1998 President of the SAF

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