Objectivist ignorance about the environment
dstaples at livingston.net
Sat Jun 12 17:52:57 EST 2004
"Josh Halpern" <j.halpern at incoming.verizon.net> wrote in message
news:Vjuyc.25453$TR1.7591 at nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
> I've added a group, bionet.agroforestry, where there is hopefully more
> expertise in these sorts of question, however, I should note that old
> growth forests can be pine and evergreen dominated, so your
> statement is somewhat of a non sequitor. My general impression
> is that the ecology of old growth forests is very different from replanted
> plantation forests and even from the regrown forests that are typical of
> the northeast.
There is a famous expression in forestry, "it depends". Plantation growth
is not like old growth, it is grown for fiber, and the rotation is generally
shorter than the time for tree maturity. However, if a plantation is left
alone, or better, managed, it can become old growth with associated ecology.
Will it be exactly the same as what was here 300 years ago, probably not,
but old growth never the less.
Short take on a long story. Texas was cut over stump pastures by the
1920's, it was replanted by the Triple C boys. 1990's saw a push to save
the "wilderness and old growth" in Texas from harvest (heavy beetle
infestations, needed to be thinned, or lost timber) wilderness areas were
identified, only to prove to be old age plantations. Complete with
endangered birds (Red Cockaded Woodpeckers), and other critters (cats).
Environmentalists went home with egg on their face.
Old growth forests can be monocultures just like pine plantations. Old
growth in the south was southern yellow pine in burning areas, and hardwood
in the wetter areas. The pine was so heavy as to have a complete crown, no
sun on the ground, no understory, no brush, and reportedly "You can see for
hundreds of yards through the woods".
Obviously, I am a southern forester, your mileage may vary in other parts of
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