Preservationism on National Forests: Sustainable or not?

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Thu Aug 12 17:57:32 EST 2004

In article <7a90c754.0408110203.368e2bf7 at>, 
lhfotoware at (Larry Harrell) says...

> High fuel prices are making logs worth even less. With a glut of logs
> flooding the mills, people will continue to be saying stop the cutting
> of trees on public lands. I ask, what do we do with all that "excess"
> timber that continues to grow, year after year, resulting in
> overstocked and unhealthy stands?

The question of what to do with the logs is a good one, and is part of 
the reason why auction prices for federal timber are so low.  The mills 
to process the lumber don't exist any more.  At a guess, 80% of the mill 
capacity of the PNW has been cut up for scrap or auctioned off to South 
America.  When they close a mill, they don't leave the machinery sitting 
there to rust.  Even the buildings have been dismantled and moved, or 
just bulldozed into a pile and burned.  With current environmental 
restrictions, there is no way anybody can get approval to site a new 
mill, so none are being built.  Can you think of a single new mill 
opening in the last 30 years?

No matter how much money Washington DC throws at the problem, the 
capacity to process the logs just doesn't exist.  Maybe we could build 
some really huge landfills and at least sequester the carbon.  


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