Mixing Timber and Nontimber Crops Can Yield A Varied Economic Menu

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Mon Jul 20 12:15:41 EST 1998

The following first appeared in The Oregonian (Portland, OR) on April 4, 1994.


	To the Editor: I read with interest the column, "Old-growth forests
yield products to revive economy," by Owen Rice (Forum, March 22). Rice is a
professional mushroom picker living in Eugene.	       As a logger and
forest-land owner, it is obvious to me that most people would rather live in
a house made of wood than in one made of mushrooms. Therefore, it follows
that the careful management and harvest of renewable, sustainable and
environmentally friendly timber products should be of vital concern to us
all.	 Compared to the essentials of shelter and toilet paper, mushrooms
are really luxury items. Certainly we should not ignore the tremendous
potential of fungi as a sustainable nontimber cash crop, but we should keep
the end-use of all forest produts in perspective.  I recently took a class
called "Forest Fungi" at Clackamas Community College. I learned that some of
the best truffle-growing sites around are young, managed conifer stands, and
one of the best methods of cultivating a variety of mushrooms species is to
inoculate a fresh-cut stump with fungi spawn. Managed forest stands, stumps
and mushrooms - what does this mean? That we can have our cake and eat it,
too.	   Let me offer a simple recipe for the very complex ancient forests
that you have been misled to believe are gone forever: Plant trees, then
wait.	     GARY SPRINGER, Corvallis

The above letter to the editor was posted as a courtesy by:
Daniel B. Wheeler

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