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March 03, 2005

To Cut Or Not To Cut?

A thoughtful article worth reading in today's Eugene Register-Guard examines an emerging debate among forest conservationists.

Some environmentalists, like the Oregon Natural Resources Council, favor logging on federal land--in the form of thinning--in order to help human-planted even-aged stands return to the ecological complexity of old-growth forests. Others, like the Sierra Club and Native Forest Council, continue to staunchly reject any logging on federal lands, on the grounds that thinning removes valuable nutrients and that logging interests can't be trusted with publicly-owned forests.

Posted by Eric de Place | Permalink


It's how you frame the debate.

If one includes "under current rules", then logging under these conditions shouldn't be allowed, as the rules allow cutting of large caliper trees as incentive for "clearing brush". That is the Sierra Club's and others' stand - the large caliper trees should not be cut.

If green buildings become more widespread, then many products could be made from small caliper stems, creating a market and obviating a need for harvesting large caliper stems.

Certainly the stems per acre needs to be restored to some semblance of historical distribution to lower catastrophic fire danger. But cutting large stems won't do it and something else needs to be done to cut them wee trees. Until there's a market for the wee trees, they won't get cut like we need 'em to be.


Posted by: Dano | Mar 3, 2005 12:27:57 PM