Thinning on the Angeles National Forest

Larry Harrell lhfotoware at
Sun Feb 22 10:43:59 EST 2004

"Ian St. John" <istjohn at> wrote in message news:<C5NZb.11614$w65.895365 at>...
> "Le Messurier" <dlemessurier at> wrote in message
> news:116731df.0402210840.10f317e at
> >
> > Fact: The 398 trees of 24 inch or more diameter represent LESS THAN 1
> > PERCENT of this diameter tree in the 7500 acres.  The total number of
> > 24 inch+ trees in the same 7500 acres is approximently 120,000.
> Supporting documentation? I've looked at
> Table nine suggests 5.4*7500 = 40,500 trees > 24" dbh, not 120,000. However,
> this is the east rim,not the 'virgin' north.
> Note: I am not a hardass here. I play the rebutter in posts from Larry
> because he is so obviously promoting timber sales, not forest management,
> and never supports a word he says.

You claim "virtual clearcutting" and these figures show that ONLY 398
out of 40,500 larger trees will be cut over 7500 acres. This is
consistent with this type of thinning project. Cutting one larger tree
per 19 acres isn't "virtual clearcutting".
I state the obvious, to someone who has been in those kind of forests.
Why post docuementation, when you only dispute EVERYTHING I post? My
observations come from DECADES of work in many, many different forest
types and, especially in the field of salvage logging and modern
thinning projects. I have more direct experience than most PHD's and
have seen more of our National Forests, as well. Since forest
conditions are constantly changing, my recent experiences and
observations are more applicable than even a ten year old study.

National Forests I've worked on:

Cleveland NF
San Bernardino NF
Angeles NF
Los Padres NF
Sequioa NF
Stanislaus NF
Eldorado NF
Tahoe NF
Plumas NF
Lassen NF
Modoc NF
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Shasta-Trinity NF
Six Rivers NF
Mendocino NF
Klamath NF
Winema NF
Rogue River NF
Mt Hood NF
Black Hills NF
Ouachita NF
Sumter NF

Is that not enough to know what I am talking about?
> > I hope these facts will help you better understand what this and other
> > thinning projects are about.  In most dry forest types there shoould
> > NEVER be a catastrophic wildfire.  They are unnatural.  Natural fires
> > burn on the ground. Ponderosa forests do not regenerate after a
> > catastrophic wildfire. The removal of ladder fuels, as well as other
> > unatural growth, is essential to save this and many other forest
> > types.
> "The normal fire return interval in ponderosa pine is 2-10 years, but
> research indicates optimum fuel loading for a low intensity burn is probably
> closer to 4 years.
> This has been much more credible than Larry's rants, but you haven't given
> much of any facts or references to prove your points. The mistletoe should
> be suppressed by fire and I cannot believe that all these large diameter
> trees are infected.

Forget about references. You will never believe them and Americans are
just going to have to trust that we're doing the right thing. Again
you show your ignorance of science and ecology by not understanding
dwarf misletoe and natural wildfire. You can't control prescribed fire
in a stand that is overstocked with medium-sized trees.

> The question really revolves around:
> Can environmental protection and preservation of natural ecosystems co-exist
> with a capitalism ( exploitation ) driven economy? The evidence that the
> bias is towards exploitation here is rather strong.  The fire suppression
> that created the problem was driven by the timber industry and the current
> drive to 'reduce fuel loads' is driven by the timber industry and..

No, the timber industry will get the excess small and medium-sized
trees that shouldn't be there in the first place. Yes, the timber
industry WANTS as many of those medium-sized trees as it can get but,
I won't be overcutting ANY stand of trees. I WOULD like to see the
Forest Service getting top dollar for the excess trees, to help fund
the treatment of submerchantable brush and saplings. Actually, I HAVE
worked on a service contract that didn't remove one merchantable stick
(9"+ dbh). The project worked out perfectly and was burned a few years
later, acheiving a very nice cool burn. If you're ever on the Tahoe
National Forest driving on Highway 89 just south of Sierraville, take
a look at the roadside areas and you'll see a textbook example of how
to manage fire prone areas without cutting merchantable trees.

Do I need references for such a tale? No.....go see it for yourselves.
> You really need to protect the national forests from the pressure to
> exploit. It is just too easy to make up a 'rationale' rather than a reason
> and use it to justify anything.

Once again, we don't need Canadians telling us how to manage our
forests, especially when they continue to allow their own government
to clearcut sensitive northern forests, selling the boards to
Americans. Ian thinks he knows exactly what "Healthy Forests" means.
How could he POSSIBLY know, when our own National Forests are rapidly
trying to organize projects themselves. The Bush Administration has
given us almost all the "tools" we need to manage our forests. Each
project uses some of these tools and are "site specific" to each
project area. If people have specific problems with a particular
project, by all means, get involved and express your opinion. Or, you
can take it to court and see if you can't change that project.
However, don't go telling lies about Forest Service projects without
specific details on specific projects. The Kaibab project is a good
example of thinning for forest health and not for pure profit, as Ian
has stated.

BTW, thanks Bob and LeMessurier for their marvelous explanations.

Larry,   a true environmentalist

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