“Perhaps Ken Burns had the right idea when he named his public-television series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Even though I worked for the Forest Service for 34 years, I’m inclined to agree with him about the importance of our nation’s parks. But the national forests are surely our second-best idea, a priceless asset despite the call from some Westerners to sell off our forests and privatize them.” Source: www.hcn.org.
GR: As I read its history, the U. S. Forest Service has always been, and remains today, a tool of corporate greed. There are exceptions to the exploitative emphasis of this tool of the business world, but the exceptions are rare. Where are the roots of the problem? Could it be in the nation’s university Forestry Departments where new foresters are indoctrinated into the forestry for profit system? Do we correct the problem by closing our forestry schools and sidelining all our professional foresters while we find replacements from Ecology Departments untouched by commercial concerns?
This article is full of misinformation, untested assumptions, and pejorative language–it is so typical of the way the timber industry and FS have “framed” the issue of fire to justify more logging…
GR: The U. S. Forest Service manages forests to benefit corporations not the land. They use misdirection to justify their unhealthy practices. Some of their BS is made clear in this article by George Wuerthner.
“A century-long study in the Oregon Cascades may cause scientists to revise the textbook on how forests grow and die, accumulate biomass and store carbon.
“However, since the stands in Harmon and Pabst’s study have continued to accumulate biomass steadily for 150 years, the optimum harvest cycle may be considerably longer than 50 years. It is likely, they wrote, that some Douglas-fir forests have been harvested many decades before they reached a point when the rate of biomass accumulation slowed.”
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-cascades-rewrite-textbook-forest-growth.html#jCp.
GR: It might not surprise anyone to learn that for the past century, the U.S. Forest Service and it’s timber companies have been harvesting forests too often. This research indicates that forests remain healthy and continue to accumulate biomass for more than 100 years. Other research indicates that biodiversity and general environmental health are greater in old-growth forests. So–let’s stop cutting our trees until we get our problems with climate change and wildlife decline under control!
Forestry and Forest Decline
New research shows that the most significant current threat to western dry forests is from insect outbreaks and droughts, not wildfires; and historically abundant small trees offer the greatest hope for forest survival and recovery after these events.
The study’s findings suggest current programs that remove most small trees to lower the intensity of wildfires in dry forests and restore large trees lost to logging, may reduce forest resilience to the larger threats from insect outbreaks and droughts. “Using historical forests as a guide, our study suggests we may want to modify our restoration and management programs so they do not put all our eggs in one basket, but instead hedge our bets by keeping both large trees and abundant small ones” said Dr. Baker.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-bet-hedgint-forest-resilience-climate-change-threats.html#jCp
GR: The researchers conducting this study assumed that the U. S. Forest Service’s long-standing practice of paying contractors to remove small trees was intended to reduce forest fire damage. Actually, the principal reason may have been to speed the growth of harvestable trees. Thus, removing the small trees that help the forest recover from drought and disease wasn’t done in a misguided attempt to save the forest–it wasn’t a mistake at all, it was done to help timber companies harvest as much timber in the shortest amount of time as possible.
Idea debunked that young trees have the edge on their older siblings in carbon accumulation. by Jeff Tollefson Native forest in Ancares Mountains, NW of Iberian Peninsula. Rubén Portas Copyr…
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