Thinning on the Angeles National Forest

Le Messurier dlemessurier at
Mon Feb 23 00:03:36 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
> > RE: The lawsuit over the Kaibab N F "North Rim" Project:
> > Trees over 3-4 inches DO pose a threat!  If they're dense enough.  It
> > isn't diameter that makes the threat, it is DENSITY.  The "natural" or
> > pre-setllement forest had as many as 60 trees per acre.  Today, there
> > are as many as 1000 trees per acre in some places.  Go here for more
> > information on forest restoration:
> I looked at it. The 'was' and 'is'. Your claim that the is has 17 times as
> many trees does not pass the giggle test.

Where did you come up with the 17 times as many trees as a claim for
these photos?  The photos are obviously illustrative of the problem
and appear to demonstrate why the "is" burned. Taking another look at
the "is" I'll bet there were close to 1000 trees per acre.  600 at
least.  The 60 per acre is well documented by Covington and others. 
As for the 1000 per acre all you have to do is walk through almost any
part of the Ponderosa forest.  You don't really need to count.  It's

You make the staement that low intensity fires will burn out the 3-4
or 5 inch trees.  WRONG!  It takes several fire cycles for a Ponderosa
to obtain a dbh of 3-4 inches.  By then they are often 20 to 30 feet
tall.  Well into the canopy of more desireable sized tree and a true
ladder fuel. If you would like a few photos of this condition then
e-mail me and I will send them to you (by e-mail).

> >
> > 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.
> > Fact: The 24+ inch trees plus a good number of other smaller dbh trees
> > are being removed not for reasons of density but because of serious
> > misteltoe infestation. (If you don't know anything about Dwarf
> > Mistletoe go here:
> That was never mentioned. Why? Is it the fact that dwarf mistletoe is
> normally kept in check by the periodic low intensity brush fires that are
> being suppressed?

Mistletoe was in fact mentioned more than once.  It is usually, but
not always kept in check by the normal natural fire.  But severe
infestation in old growth can be a very severe problem to a
signifacant part of the whole forest if not checked.

> "Less intense fire can beneficially reduce dwarf mistletoe by scorching
> infected areas of the lower crown and is most likely the primary limiting
> factor of this parasitic plant in a naturally functioning system."

The point of the Kaibab project is to bring it back to "naturally
functioning" which it isn't now.
> The key here being 'naturally funcitioning' which logging does not
> necessarily help.

Thinning CAN help.  And this project is NOT a logging project.  It is
a restoration project.
> 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.

As stated we're talking about less than 1% of the 24 inch and above
that will be cut.  And those for mistletoe.  398 trees over 7500 acres
for goodness sake!

As for references I really don't think that this forum requires
citations to references and a biblography.  However, since you brought
it up the answer is that I asked!  Easy.
> 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..

Since there was no logging in this area it was hardly "exploited"  by
the timber industry.  Furthur, and for your information, the area
South of the Canyon on the Kaibab, was heavily logged.  But not by the
timber industry as we think of it today.  It was logged when the
railroad (the Santa Fe) came through before the National forests were
created. Causes of present day problems are many and complex.  The
timber industry is only one of many. The result is the same.  We have
unhealthy forests that need care and management if they are to

As to whether capatilism and environmental protection can co-exist,
just keep this in mind:  it is Capatalism that enables us to have this
forum, gives us our jobs and creates the wealth of our country.  (All
less so in Canada.)  Here in the USA we we use our resources,
admittedly not always well but for certain, to the betterment of all. 
Your statement implys that some other form or system would be better
than Capatalism.  Were you perhaps thinking of Marxism or Socialism? 
Well, I went through those arguments in the 60's, and guess what.  I
(we) won!  Hands down.  If you pick up this part of the thread I will
not reply, as I've been there done that, and don't need to repeat
ancient history.
> 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.

The "rationale" is forest restoration.  It can be safely said that
there is no other for this project.  You may not know it, but there is
no logging industry in Arizona anymore other than FATCO.  (Fort Apache
Timber Compan owned by the Apache Nation.)  I have no idea where they
will get a timber company to do the logging.  Perhaps in Utah.

I have no investment, emtionally or philosphically in the
logging/timber industry.  My interst here is solely forest
restoration.  I'll repeat: RESTORATION!  The Healthy Forests Act can
be a very important part of that if the obstructionism can be
eliminated and that only rational and coherent objections to plans,
projects and policy are voiced.

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