Kerry's forest ideas out of step with sound ecosystem management

Psalm 110 ScienceCop at
Mon Aug 9 01:10:27 EST 2004

On 8 Aug 2004 22:02:19 -0700, wxdano9 at (Dano) wrote:

>hcf32 at (O18-C-O16) wrote in message news:<5d02cf45.0408071325.1329df5 at>...
>> Maybe the onset of a 'mineral only' flush most often would be slower
>> but the amount of accumulated below ground carbon, larger. Could be
>> significant since soil carbon is supposed to enhance soil water
>> storage, the real limiting factor in fire prone forests.
>I'm not really sure what is going on now in this thread, but yes C is
>very significant in soil. C does indeed enhance soil water storage,
>via many processes that enhance soil WHC. C is essential for many
>macro and microorganisms in soil as well.
>The point here, however, is that normally (absent fire, for purposes
>of this thread) N is largely unavailable without mychorrizal symbiosis
>- the N is very tightly bound and plants must expend great amounts of
>energy to utilize it. As N is essential for tissue formation in
>plants, when fire occurs, there is generally a resultant flush of
>growth due to the released N.
>Lastly, fire-prone forests have plants that are adapted to fire
>regimes. Closed-cone trees, for example. Redwood forests stop in
>southern OR in part because of the fire return interval.

Nitrogen is a fairly universally used element. It exists at the rate
of one atom per molecule of one of the four amino acids which make up
DNA, and three atoms per molecule in another. It is not used in the
remaining two necessary amino acids. By weight it appears in ratio to
Carbon of 1:6.25 so that if you can measure the nitrogen, you can
multiply that by 6.25 to calculate the crude protein content.

It is not "tightly bound". Nitrogen as ammonia, ammonium, or urea is
water soluble and considered a "mobile nutrient" easily lost to water

L:iebig's law states: The most limiting factor is dominent. Given an
abundance of nitrogen (which is toxic to most life in excess) then
some other factor will be the limiting factor. In climax forests with
tall canopy, sunlight is the most limiting factor. Light barely
reaches the forest floor, and because of the many obstacles, it is in
beams or shafts of light that move continually so that no spot is
illuminated for very long each day. No amount of nitrogen can
compensate for the light starvation.

Forest fires actually incinerate and volitalize nitrogen.  A burned
forest has less nitrogen total quantity, but plenty of light. That
light alone is the cdause of the initial flush of growth, as
everything else is present in sufficient amounts. As growth proceeds,
each lifeform will meet it's most limiting factor, and the rapid flush
will begin to subside.

Combustion is oxidization. Slow oxidization is rust, corrosion or
decay, fast oxidization is fire, very fast oxidization is explosion.
They are all the same process at different rates of speed. A bit of
fire is not a bad thing, except when its you or yours getting burned.

Fires have a culling and disease suppressive effect beyond whatever
they may enable for fire-opportunistic adapted lifeforms. They are not
such a good thing that they need encouragement -- in a human dominated
ecology many of fire's overal functionality in forests can be replaced
by human management.

If you have dollar-signs for eyes you will not be able to understand.
Humans owe a debt to the life-support systems. It is right, fitting,
proper to ask all citizens to be educated about the planet they live
on, nore than "reading, ritting, and rithmatic" so one can be fit as a
cog into an industrial employment machine. People need to have a
nature education, and the year or two that they spend learning ecology
might as well be spent in forests, sometimes with chainsaws in your
hands, thinning, trail cutting, opening a meadow here and there.

The youth should get proper supervision, college credits, perhaps some
nominal payment accrue for public service.

The landgrab artists claim that only their loggers should thin the
trees, and only thin the trees that are salable to cover the costs of
timber baron's lifestyles. That's why we need universal education in
practical dirt-under-the-fingernails ecology education. So that
informed voters are grown who know better than to believe that crap.

We need to cease hiring any politicians who do not have a science
education that includes biology and ecology. We cannot formulate city
policy without impacting rural environments, and we need people who
have lived in the woods enough hours, enough days of their lives to
have learned something about the life of the woods.

We need thieves to understand that our national forests are not YOUR
private property to get rich from. If you want to be in the lumber
supply business, buy some land, plant trees, wait, cut, sell.

The national forests were created when resources looked infinite. We
know better now. They may provide lumber, but there is no reason they
should not provide it at market rate and with all citizens equally
able to avail themselves. Currently trees sell for less than a 2"x4"
in auctions that lose money for the taxpayer. The wood from national
forests does not end up in the retail lumber yards at lower prices
than private timber off private lands. There is no reason to "give
away" national forest lumber. Once it is market rate the demand will
be reduced becaue there is no easy fortune chopping down market rate
trees. Then the false arguments will subside, and we can solve our
problems intelligently without subversive liars twisting the national

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list