TEAMS job update and outreach
Daniel B. Wheeler
dwheeler at ipns.com
Tue Feb 26 08:26:44 EST 2002
"Larry Harrell" <fotoware at jps.net> wrote in message news:<W_Od8.11141$ZC3.876864 at newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net>...
> Personally, I am very comfortable with being in the middle of the road on
> forest management issues. We CAN get everything we want out of our forests
> without compromising wildlife populations, hydrological integrity or visual
> aesthetics. How can you say that thinning projects (which currently still
> have enough value to be sold) constitute a "rape" of the forest? I'm rather
> proud of the stands of trees I've "sculpted" by picking and plucking
> individual trees, leaving the biggest and the best trees more healthy and
> more fire resistant.
I'm glad you're so confident, Larry. I've always been timid in
thinning, largely because I'm never sure what's enough and what's too
much. But mostly I work with _very_ young tree stands, and there is
often a question (at least in my mind) _which_ tree to cut and which
to let grow.
Sometimes it takes me 5 or 10 years to decide.
OTOH, I think that's OK. Usually the trees tell me within that time
which needs to be thinned and which doesn't.
I disagree with your statement of leaving "the biggest and best trees"
though. Sometimes to keep biodiversity and multiple layers going, it
is necessary to leave what most foresters call "weed" trees, just
because they are relatively rare in a stand yet are important for
several other animals or fungi as either food or shelter. I guess I
like the Alamanor Forest management program: trying to imagine what a
forest will look like 10, 20, or 50 years in the future without the
tree you may have to cut. In older stands, sometimes that means taking
older trees. Not very often, but sometimes. And sometimes, it means
girdling those older trees, or snag-blasting, to create habitat for
raptors or marbled murrelets.
But a greater percentage of the time now, it means clearcutting to
prevent the spread of root rots, which were often introduced by
That's why I like working in younger stands which have been inoculated
with truffles. Truffles tend to act as fungal prophylactics against
root rots. That gives you more options to deal with minor fungal
infestations, instead of having to cut a couple of acres to control an
Daniel B. Wheeler
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