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

Dano wxdano9 at
Sat Jul 31 20:54:45 EST 2004

Larry Caldwell <larryc at> wrote in message news:<MPG.1b59f2de6010615598afa9 at>...
> In article <10evaprqkj5ru3c at>, brutus at (Fresno 
> Farms) says...


> Another facet of the phony federal bookkeeping was that all monies 
> collected from forest sales went back to the general fund, and nothing 
> was retained by the forest service.  Among other things, this gave the 
> Forest Service no incentive to maximize return from the sale, and every 
> incentive to roll infrastructure projects into the bid.  This led to the 
> construction of many thousands of miles of unneeded road.  
> That's why federal lands were not replanted.  The forest service and BLM 
> finally started rolling replanting into the bid in the mid-1970s, 
> decades after everyone else had programs in place.  Congress just wanted 
> to collect their money and ignore the land.  Nothing has changed.  They 
> have passed the "healthy forests" bill, but have not appropriated the 
> money necessary to implement it.  

If I may, there used to be programs to do release to encourage sapling
growth. If you'll remember before the days of big clearcuts, seed
trees were left to reseed the area cut. Someone would go back in 2-3-4
times and do a release on the ceanothus, manzanita, whatever to allow
seedlings and saplings to grow.

> Nutrients are not removed from a forest by logging.  The wood itself 
> contains very little nutrients of any kind, other than the base 
> cellulose and lignin.  Only the green, growing part of the tree actually 
> contains trace nutrients.  Slash is not normally removed from the 
> forest, though burning slash destroys nutrients and is not the best use 
> of the material.  Chopping and blowing the slash back on the ground is a 
> great improvement over the nutrient depletion caused by fire.

In a very narrow sense this is true. The 'purpose' of dead wood is to
release carbon back into the cycle - carbon being a nutrient. Organic
matter and water holding capacity is added to the soil. "Nurse logs"
is a good term to remember here.

> Recent experiments with forest fertilization have shown that forests are 
> nitrogen limited.  Interestingly, closed canopy forests are incredibly 
> adept at recycling nitrogen.  One application of 160 lbs of nitrogen per 
> acre will result in measurably accelerated growth for several years.

Yes. One of the benefits of fire is the nitrogen release - the initial
flush of growth after a fire is due in large part to the nitrification
process that occurs after a fire.



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