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Author Topic: Forestry Practice?  (Read 3073 times)

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Offline Dal_sanyl

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Forestry Practice?
« on: November 06, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
Is Forestry a good thing? Doesn't it do harmful things to our environment?  How can we protect our forests when people always cut them down?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 07:15:13 PM »
Certainly it is a good thing. The definition of Forestry is the science or practice of planting, managing, and caring for forests. How can any of those things be detrimental? 

How can we protect our forests when people always cut them down?


If you do some research, and use your mind instead of your heart, you will see that the forest product industry is growing more trees than we are using. The whole Idea is to use and manage a resource that is forever renewable. The last thing anyone involved in Forestry wants to do is work themselves out of a job by destroying our forests.

Tell us a bit about yourself if you would, so we can understand why you might think that Forestry is damaging.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 07:16:58 PM »
welcome


but I must ask   you joined here....WHY?



trees our most renuable resource
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 07:18:42 PM »
Dal-sanyl,welcome to the forum. I have about 150 acres here in Maine. There was never any logging done on this land that my Father,born in 1923,could ever remember. We did cut some firewood for our own use,but did not even put a dent in the woods.My father and I  started to log it between "93-97. Than my father passed away and I did not do much until about 2007 and 2009. I had about half of the 150 logged by someone else. there are still about 70 acres that has not been cut and it shows. Lots of dead trees. A forest needs to have some of the trees removed so the others will grow better and stronger. cutting trees is not bad for a healthy forest. There is a few acres that I really enjoy walking in. Nothing smaller than a foot in size and trees are growing 10 feet apart. But others places trees are falling over due to being too thick for others to really grow good. We need trees each and every day for all of the things we use in our every day life.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 07:24:17 PM »
welcome


but I must ask   you joined here....WHY?



trees our most renuable resource

Careful there woodmills. For all we know, this new member may be a young person trying to form their own personal opinions by asking questions. You were a teacher. You probably saw first hand how erroneous information about our natural world is spread by so called educators. We are here to give the world a professional accurate response.
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Offline KBforester

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 07:25:07 PM »
I'll give an answer at the risk of this not being a serious question. Or perhaps its a high school student trying to find someone else to do their homework? If it is a serious question, I'm not trying to offend you.

Human Life always has impact. The harvesting of forest products are arguably less damaging than practically any other resource that we consume.

-Agriculture is far more damaging to the environment than logging. What do you think a corn field used to be? It's essentially a clear cut- except clear cuts grow back. When was the last time you heard about green peace slashing the tires on a soy farmers tractor? (I'm not bashing farmers, just the bias)

-Assuming your house is built with wood, the placement of your house, and the displacement of whatever existed their before it was a house (urban sprawl), is farm more destructive than the logging and milling of the lumber to build the house. With forestry, trees grow back. If its not sustainable, than its not forestry. Logging is not the same thing as deforestation.

-Wood as a fuel is more closely tied to the carbon cycle. Simple math can be used to balance carbon output and input. You can't do that with oil.

-If you were to start replacing all our wood products with plastic, and concrete... you would be truly living an unsustainable life. There are few other alternatives.

Again, not trying to offend you, or farmers. We need farmers.
Trees are good.

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 07:27:09 PM »
Trees live and die as we do and also have a shelf life.
To not harvest them is shameful and a waste of natural resources.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 07:44:34 PM »
welcome


please find the answer to your questions




this would be the best place to do that



trees grow



please follow up and clarify your questions on trees and their value
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Ianab

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 07:49:27 PM »
If you read much of the forum you will get the idea that most members are VERY much into conservation, recycling and sustainable use. None of us want to see Forests vanish either. It's more about how to manage the forest, creating some economic benefit, while at the same time leaving it as a forest. Heck sometimes even a clear cut is a valid management plan, providing you intend to regrow the forest. (Planted or natural regeneration). So cutting down some trees is only a part of the whole process, which can be repeated over the decades. Arguably more "sustainable" than pretty much ANY other human endeavour?

So don't mistake cutting down a tree for destroying a forest, any more than picking an apple destroys the apple tree. While we may enjoy the tree felling part, and even boast about it, I would wager that the members here have planted and cared for more new trees, and acres of land, than any similar "conservation" based group?

Ian
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 07:50:49 PM »
It's been a number of years ago but we use to have a 4 H club on forestry. We had different trees in different woodlots we would measure the circumference in the spring and fall , this went on for years. After a timber harvest you would be surprized how they would jump in circumference and they were becoming the next timber tree for the next harvest. The great thing about trees , there a renewable resorce and if we manage it correctly there will be a healthy forest long after we are gone.
Bill

Offline OH logger

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 09:18:36 PM »
i second what everyone else said and will add this. there is a local farmer around here that leaves his corn and beans stand till march or april or may of the following year regardless of how nice the previous fall was for harvesting the crop. all the while they are losing yield to the elements wildlife, etc, etc. most of the neighbors think he is dumb and darn  neared insane, which he may be. BUT some of those same farmers do the same thing, except with trees. they will not sell them for a variety of reasons, some true and most not. to me they are not utilizing the resource that GOD put on earth to USE NOT ABUSE. trees are like any other crop. if they are mature they should be harvested before the elements of life get the best of them. the one thing that i am passionate about is SUSTAINABLE forestry.     (oh and P.S. don't call crews that floor woods "butcherers". butcherers are very SKILLED people.)
john

Offline JohnW

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 10:39:47 PM »
Well, I say thanks men, for your well thought out answers.

Offline thenorthman

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 01:17:02 AM »
I'm not a forester or college educated however by paying attention to the forest and trees around me, as well as other loggers and foresters, I've learned that trees  grow back, usually faster than expected by the layperson.  Logging emulates fire and disease, die off then rebirth, without the pure waste that disease and fire cause, although fire has its purposes.  Take a look at a few fires in the recent past and what they look like now, Yellow Stone is a good example I am sure there are others(can't think of any top of my head) also a good example is the utter destruction left after Mt. St. Helens while not a fire it still leveled vast acreage.  today its a nice although young forest, and its only been 30 years.  For more current Fires just look at some pictures of the recent Colorado and Warshingon state fires, pine beetle had a huge impact on both fires, not just drought, lots of standing dead trees, trees that are already matchstick dry.  Years ago dutch elm disease and another (can't remember the name) took out the american Walnut and Elms these two diseases more or less deforested the east coast,  Intense logging helped to slow some of this, but it wasn't enough.

With proper management disease can be kept to a minimum, the spread of insects can be kept to a minimum, forest fires can be kept to the ground level where they reduce fuels and pests whiles rejuvenating forest life, without getting out of control and destroying millions yes six zeros 1000000's of acres of forest and wildlife habitat, every year.

burning wood releases Exactly the same amount of co2 as it does when it decomposes, don't believe me research it.  One acre of moderately dense forest, can produce 1 cord of fire wood every year, forever.  Most house only need 5-9 cords to heat through an entire winter (if'n yer burning more invest in insulation and a smaller house ;)).  Wood products are used in a vast amount of products from buildings and T.P. to rayon and whisky, there is a list somewhere that takes about 2 hours to read all the way through it and you forget about half of it.  And this is all renewable and always has been, Don't believe me?  look at Ireland, in 1590s (maybe 1690s?) sir oliver cromwell scalped the entire west side of Ireland what didn't get used in boats was just burned, some parts were never replanted (there usualy wasn't anybody left alive to replant), others are massive oak forests the likes of which are seldom seen anywhere else in the world, other places are productive evergreen and popular plantations.  That don't work look at the rest of Europe not a stick of uncut virgin forest in the entire continent, yet they still have things like the black forest in Germany, and Frances national forests, which ours where modeled upon at one time.

Go read some history and try again.

Note: the dates and places may not be exactly accurate but the gist is there.

P.S. the dug up cromwell and then hung his head on a stake...
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Offline Dal_sanyl

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 12:57:56 PM »
welcome


but I must ask   you joined here....WHY?



trees our most renuable resource




I joined because I know very little about the industry, and I have only heard how we must protect it, and that clear cutting is a bad practice that can change the dynamic of the forests.

I'm beginning to understand about sustainable harvesting, but I still don't see how modifying the forest for our benefit is good, even if it can be done, and managed properly. 

If harvesting emulates fire, how would Jack Pine regrow? don't the seeds need the heat to open up and sprout? and what about wildlife? if its a small surface fire then can't some creatures burrow, and escape the heat, but if they were to do that with a skidder over top they would be crushed.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 01:54:42 PM »
Define "good"?

Are you saying that anything that changes the dynamics of a forest is automatically bad?

That forests should simply be left "untouched by humans"? Too late to put that genie back in the bottle. Humans have been influencing the forest dynamics since they first appeared. Hunting, fire and introducing new plants affects the environment even if it's on a stone age level. Want "pre-human" conditions? Need to bring back some Wooly Mammoths and see what effect they had on the forest?

Fire? Yes it's recognised that fire is a part of the dynamic of some forests, and is a natural process. But this needs to be managed as people actually live and work in those same forests. Uncontrolled burns impact on peoples lives, literally in some cases. No logging + no fire means the fuel load builds up to a point where the fire becomes uncontrollable, and totally burns up a large area. Which is a greater effect, managed logging and buns, or big "100 year" bun off?

Economics? People living in forested areas need to make a living... Or do they pack up and move to the city (clear some more forest to expand the city). Clear the forest so they can become farmers? Want a sustainable source of raw materials and fuel? It's called a forest.

Conservation of rare species? It needs to be considered and time you make a change to the makeup of a forest. But often a young regenerating forest is a better wildlife habitat than an old "climax" forest, which may be very shaded and lacking in undergrowth and food plants.  Anyone spending time in the forest, and keeping their eyes open will notice wildlife congregating around the clearings and new growth, as that's where the food (plants and prey) are.

Forestry needs to consider all these things, and arrive at a balanced plan, economic, conservation, aesthetics etc and manage the forest for a good outcome.  Understand the cause and effect of what is going on. The effect of harvesting, or not harvesting which may be even greater.

Like it or not man is now part of the ecosystem, and pretending we are not is just fooling yourself. Forestry is about wise management of that resource.

Ian
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Offline Draco

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 02:32:33 PM »
Quote
I joined because I know very little about the industry, and I have only heard how we must protect it, and that clear cutting is a bad practice that can change the dynamic of the forests.

I'm beginning to understand about sustainable harvesting, but I still don't see how modifying the forest for our benefit is good, even if it can be done, and managed properly. 

If harvesting emulates fire, how would Jack Pine regrow? don't the seeds need the heat to open up and sprout? and what about wildlife? if its a small surface fire then can't some creatures burrow, and escape the heat, but if they were to do that with a skidder over top they would be crushed.

Do you live without using anything that is made from wood?  Is the building that you live in and the building that you work in wood free?  Do you use paper products?  Do you ever buy products that are packaged in paper, or cardboard?

Do you believe that replacing products that are made from wood with products that are derived from petroleum would be better for the planet?  How would you propose that we eliminate the need for wood and wood byproducts?

We have learned how to emulate the conditions needed to produce seedlings that once depended upon fire to germinate.

How many animals were killed during the construction of your house, office and the stores that you buy the things that you require to survive?  Would you give those things up in order to save some animals?  What would you build your new home out of?  Where would you build it?  Are you able to feed yourself and make your own clothing without a trip to the store, where you will buy things with PAPER money?

The logging industry and conservationists will never agree on everything.  Loggers will want more land to log and environmentalists will always want land preserved.  As Jeff pointed out, we are creating more forest than we had in the past.  Issues like fragmentation, soil erosion, stream damage and other problems associated with logging continue to be settled between the two interest groups.  If loggers take the last tree, they would all be out of business.  They have an interest in seeing healthy forests.  The loggers aren't your problem.  The politicians are.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 02:46:22 PM »

If harvesting emulates fire, how would Jack Pine regrow? don't the seeds need the heat to open up and sprout?


In a word, yes, they need heat, but that does not have to be fire. It can be from direct sunlight on the cones that is made available by logging.

I just happen to live right on the southern edge of thousands of acres of managed jackpine forests. These jackpines do not exist for logging, they exist to create the conditions that must be met to help an endangered species, the Kirtland Warbler. The warbler became nearly extinct from the lack of management of the jackpines, and from trying to save them from fire.

 The warbler only nests in jackpine stands that are 5-20 years old. Older stands will not support the warbler. So, when the time comes,. they must be harvested to allow new stands to grow that will again give the right conditions for the warbler to reproduce. You can either do this by waiting to see if mother nature burns the trees down before they reach the end of their lifespan (Around 50-70 years,) or burning the forest down on purpose, or clear cutting it to allow the sun to reach the cones to cause regeneration and then utilize the wood product that was harvested to the necessary environment for the procreation of the Warbler. Without the use of Forest Management, and the tool of clear cutting, the Warbler would be extinct. Now, after years of management, they are doing very well, living and breeding north of my home, and then, lucky them, wintering in the Bahamas every year. (That is a fact) :)

Here is a pretty good publication on Jackpine Management.

http://woodlandinfo.org/publications/FEM/FEM_085.pdf

There are other species of Trees that need to be clearcut to regenerate as well, such as Aspen. If left to live and die, you end up with forests types such as red maple that have very little to offer wildlife, where as young Aspen stands are a wildlife heaven providing not only food, but habitat.
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Offline SPD748

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 08:26:57 PM »
While I'm no expert, I can say this... I thank a farmer for each meal that I eat and a logger for the home that shelters my family. I believe that, as with any resource, our forests can and should be properly managed.

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Offline thenorthman

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 12:18:30 AM »
I am going to take a wild guess and say you are very young say early teens maybe even preteen?  And therefore maybe a little impressionable and still passionate about life?  I'll try not to sound like the mean adult, cause believe me I'm not the best example of a responsible adult...

For starters Death is necessary, in all things, nothing lives forever.  The best thing that the human race can do is minimize our impact on this planet, unfortunately that doesn't mean eating Cheetos until the end times...  Timber harvesting is a needed and good thing, if done correctly.  Even when done poorly the land will heal itself allot quicker than any oil field I've ever been in, or strip mining for that matter, both industries that are necessary.

As far as the critters of the forest are concerned, logging disturbs them a little bit but not to bad, kinda like having a noisy neighbor for a few months, or a hurricane come through every 50 years or so.  Lots of stuff gets tore up and their a little annoyed for a few weeks but quickly forgotten once its over.  I have had to shoe deer and rabbits out of the way of timber falling weeks after logging had started, once they realize you're not going to make dinner out of em, they get down right friendly and a little pushy sometimes, just don't feed the bears and everything will be ok right?

If you ever get the chance to traipse around in some real old growth forest, get up away from the river valleys etc. and you will notice an almost instant lack of wild life, about 200-300 yards from a large river, bugs and skeeters aside there just isn't anything for them to eat, and its very dark on the forest floor, lots of fungus and moss that's about the extent of it, in all a very foreboding place to be alone in.  But an experience you will not likely forget anytime soon
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Offline jd540b

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 06:07:08 AM »
Is Forestry a good thing? Doesn't it do harmful things to our environment?  How can we protect our forests when people always cut them down?
In a perfect (utopian) world we would not need to harvest our forests.  But that is not the case and is quite unrealistic-given the human race's need and incredible consumption of forest products.  Try going to the your local grocery store and buy anything without consuming a forest product...if nothing else you are going to leave with a paper reciept.  This being the case, I feel we have a responsibility to manage and extract as much as we can to fill this need from our own resources domestically where we have laws in place that protect water quality, soils, habitat, ownership, labor...etc.  The need will be there regardless and if we don't fill it, it will come from places where those things are not in place which in my mind is very selfish and short sighted.  My 2 cents.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 09:03:10 AM »
By the way too. If trees are cut,trees will grow back. Maybe not the best trees or the ones that a land owner wants,but trees will grow back. This is where trimming and planting trees comes in.I have places that My Father and me cut.It is coming in so thick with white pine that I have a hard time walking through it. Mother Nature will thin this out all by herself if I don't go in and thin it out a myself. Some trees will die so others can live. There are many,many land owners and loggers that care about the woods as much as they do for thier kids. I really enjoy walking my woods in places that I am cutting and trying to make it a better forest and places that have not been cut at all.
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Offline Black_Bear

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 05:23:47 PM »
Is Forestry a good thing? Doesn't it do harmful things to our environment?  How can we protect our forests when people always cut them down?

Your first question is a question that can be answered 1000 different ways. There are dozens of variables that may sway the decisions made in the practice of forestry. My opinion is that forestry is generally a good thing, but I may be biased. I'm not an expert on western US silviculture and anyone may correct me, but it is my understanding that the lack of thinning/cutting has led to high density stands containing a relatively high percentage of dead timber, which probably tends to burn easier and faster. High fuel loads is the term, I believe.   

Second question: The logging that takes place today is not your 1960s and 1970s era logging. The Clean Air Act (1970, amended 1990) and Clean Water Act (1972, amended more than once) did a lot to clean up pollution from logging and from mills. Forest certification, typically using a third party audit system, is still relatively new and is essentially designed to ensure the sustainability of our forests and natural resources. State laws and regulations, best management practice (bmp's), forest practices acts specific to a state, etc. are in place to provide a threshold of what a logger can and can't do. That threshold is much higher than what was in place during the early 70s and earlier.

Third question: similar to the first question, you are painting with a broad brush. Forestry practices in Brazil are different than forestry practices in Maine, which are different than forestry practices in Oregon. What's good for one region may not be feasible in another region. For instance, here in New England, we benefit from natural regeneration. When the trees are cut, mother nature typically grows another stand and man does not have to manually plant trees. Start by reading about practices in your area/region and try to determine how logging and forestry practices differ from the 1970s.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 06:12:28 PM »
Quote
I'm not an expert on western US silviculture and anyone may correct me, but it is my understanding that the lack of thinning/cutting has led to high density stands containing a relatively high percentage of dead timber, which probably tends to burn easier and faster. High fuel loads is the term, I believe. 

That's not from management, that is the result of the ability to manage being obstructed or taken away.
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 06:57:40 PM »
Dal_sanyl, welcome to the Forum. I am glad you came on here and asked these questions. If you will be patient with us, we will be patient with you and help you learn. These men who have answered so far are very knowledgeable. I hope more people in your situation come on this website to read what we have to say here, because the word needs to get out about the truth of Forestry. We are stewards, custodians of the forest. Nature has ways of managing itself, but it was created in need of attention from man. One of mankind's chief responsibilities on earth is to manage the area he finds himself in charge of. Managing opens the door for a great number of applications. We can manage for a pristine woodland-- we can manage for maximum production-- we can manage for sustainable production-- we can manage for a certain desired product, etc. Not everyone is going to agree with what a broad sweeping plan should be for an entire nation or state, but it is mainly up to the individual land owner to manage their property according to their personal beliefs.

What I would encourage you to do, when you are able to, is to buy a piece of land of your own, and begin managing it. You may manage it any way you like, even if that means not doing anything to it. But I do encourage you to search out all the facets of this incredibly complex and fascinating industry. Thank you for taking the time to ask.  :)
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Offline Mark Wentzell

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 07:19:15 PM »
It really depends on your perspective as to whether or not forestry is bad or good. You need to look at individual practices and decide whether or not they are beneficial or detrimental. Is it bad to cut down a tolerant hardwood stand to plant black spruce? Is it bad to disrupt natural fire regimes? Is it bad to clean up blowndown trees ? Is clearcutting worse than high grading?

In my area two centuries ago, people cut down as much huge pine and spruce as they could find. This lead to a forest that was mainly composed of Balsam Fir. Is this bad? Not if you're a Balsam Fir. My point is mostly everything that happens  to the forest benefits somebody, either nature or human. Are our needs more important than the natural rhythm of the forest?

Another thing to remember is that mother nature is resilient. Forests have survived glaciers, fires, hurricanes, storms, droughts you name it and have still managed to grow back. If we abandoned a Wal Mart and came back in a hundred years, there'd be a forest where the parking lot was.

Forests are dynamic, they change, they grow, they adapt, but it's often too slow to see.

Offline Slab Slicer

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2012, 08:22:37 PM »
I'm not a forester by any stretch of the imagination. As you can see, I'm relatively new here, and I'm learning alot, as I hope you will. I can say the the old practices mention previously, were not the way to handle forestry. These practices have been changed for the better, and the forests are better because of them.

   The only example I can express is what I see on some of the neighboring property. The are a nice variety of different trees, but what I do see are the tulip poplar trees that are outgrowing the many oaks that are along side of them. The oaks supply alot of forage food for alot of wildlife. Unfortunately, the oaks, in a struggle for sunlight, are starting to lean in an effort to reach the light that the poplars are shading them from. These oaks in turn, are uprooting, or breaking off, and are lost. Their supply of food for the wildlife is then lost. The wildlife will either move on, or die off from starvation. Proper management of the poplar, and at times, some of the oaks, by removing the appropriate amount, and using those trees in countless products, would allow both species, and in turn, the wildlife, to flourish.

This is just a small example, from a novice, but I feel it does help make a point.
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Offline Dal_sanyl

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 12:34:48 AM »


Conservation of rare species? It needs to be considered and time you make a change to the makeup of a forest. But often a young regenerating forest is a better wildlife habitat than an old "climax" forest, which may be very shaded and lacking in undergrowth and food plants. 

But Beech, and Cherry are shade tolerant, and grow better in old growth forests, and by continually cutting this stops them from spreading and feeding animals


I understand that humans have needs and that forest harvesting is a way we get our timber for houses, and paper, and all the information that members of this forum have been saying it seems as if the states is trying to protect the forests not just clear them away, so what about other countries? I know Canada's founded on the forest industry (whether I like it or not) so I'd imagine that Canada too has stable practices? What about South America? or Europe? or other counties in the world?

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 01:40:17 AM »

Quote
What about South America? or Europe? or other counties in the world?

Good question.

It varies from country to country.

South America is interesting.  One of the unintended side effects of restricting the trade in tropical timber is that the forest then become worthless to the locals. Where previously they would harvest some of the forest, sell the logs, and it would regrow (surprisingly fast), not regulations make this difficult. But they still need to eat. So the chops down the trees to grow crops, and the most lucrative ones would be drugs. We had a (now deceased) member Jim King that was living in Peru, and he gave a VERY different outlook on the situation there, and the dodgy dealings of a lot of "conservation" groups.

Europe has a long history of forest management, going back for decades. 99% of the forest there would be influenced by man at some time in it's history, so trying to find some "natural" state is pointless. Need to bring back those Mammoths etc.

New Zealand where I live is a different case again.  Total amount of forest is pretty much static now, although much was cleared for farmland in the past, same as US and Europe. Commercial forestry here is mostly plantation pine, grown in rows like corn. Planted and harvested in a similar sort of way. The remaining native forest is pretty much preserved from any logging, except for some small private areas, where logging is VERY strictly controlled. The use of intensive plantation forest means that large amounts of timber can be produced while the native forest can be preserved.

But even then it requires some serious management to even maintain that native forest. Introduced feral animals, and lack of ANY predators would see that forest pretty much destroyed in a couple of decades without a lot of money being spent  on controlling deer, goats, pigs and possums.

It's good that you are asking these questions. Things are not as simple as they might seem. Going "hands off" can have major effects (possibly more than harvesting might have). Good luck finding any deer or turkey in your shade tolerant beech forest.
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Offline Phorester

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2012, 07:09:17 AM »
It doesn't matter what country in the world you're talking about with forestry.  There is the biological side of forests that comes into play over this entire planet.

Trees are plants.  Therefore, a forest is a collection of plants. Like a garden, a fruit orchard, a lawn. So how do you create healthy lawns, gardens, orchards? You can answer this question by asking another one: What do plants need to grow?  Three main things; soil, water, and sunlight.  How do you make plants grow better?  Give them optimum conditions of soil, water, sunlight. 

In a natural forest, you're stuck with whatever soil is there.  You can't practically or financially improve the soil. 

You cannot control the amount of water that falls on a forest.  (You can't control the rain or snow)

But you can control the amount of sunlight that reaches the trees.  This is done by different methods of cutting some trees to give to give your desired trees more sunlight.   There are different cutting methods used.  As you learn more about forestry, you will learn about crop tree release, thinnings, liberation cuttings, clearcutting, selective harvesting, etc. Each method is used by foresters to manipulate sunlight to the tree species they want to grow in a particular area. You cannot have a healthy forest without cutting trees. 

To address clearcutting, it is indeed the end of a forest.  But at the exact same instant, it's also the beginning of a new forest, unless its being converted to another use like a subdivision, a shopping center, or a highway.  In forest management, clearcutting is used when the existing forest is unhealthy or  doesn't have the best trees for the site anymore due to past bad logging, fires, hurricanes, etc. Clearcutting is used to create the maximum amount of sunlight on that area, so you  are favoring the tree species that needs maximum sun to germinate and grow.  Like oak, pines, yellow poplar, black walnut, etc.  Just like planting a new garden.  You take out the old garden (you probably did this the fall of the year before) to maximize growing space and to eliminate shade over the new plants.

You can have multiple use in every forest, but it is impossible to have multiple use on every acre of a forest because of the natural biological conditions in different areas of that forest.  Based on where you are in the world, which determines in a broad sense what trees will grow there (their natural ranges), the soils found in different areas of a forest determine which trees will grow there the best. In an eastern forest in my State, Virginia, for instance, you can designate some areas for oak, some for your previously mentioned beech and cherry, some for pine, some for yellow poplar, some for ash, some for black walnut, etc.,all  based on the type of soil found in different areas of that forest.  Some of those trees can grow together on some acres, but you  cannot have all those trees on every acre because of their different requirements for sunlight and soil.

So.....forests are collections of plants. All that foresters do is apply basic plant biology to trees. It can be said that foresters manage sunlight rather than trees, because this is the only one of the three main requirements for healthy plants that we can change.



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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2012, 10:16:16 AM »
Well said, and you can control, to a small extent, water usage through amount of plant cover, and forest floor management.  Bare soil does not absorb water as well as a good duff covering.
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Offline Shotgun

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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 11:22:07 AM »
Not much has been mentioned about entomological and pathological considerations yet.  Be aware that these do exist and can greatly affect a forest stand, and the planning for management of same.  Also, there are social and economic impacts. In some areas a government tells you what you can (or must) do, or can't do with your own property.

Management also depends on what the landowner desires as a goal. He may want to use the property for hunting (deer, bear, grouse, squirrels, racoons, ducks, etc.), or the production of specific tree species.  There are three types of property ownership,  public (federal, state, county, township, etc.), and private (commercial & personal).

Bottom line in all of this, there is no template, one size fits all.

Dal, it would be helpful if you told us a little about yourself, where you're located, and what you want.  The few posts of yours that I've seen almost seem to have an offensive slant.  Folks here are going all out for you.  Let us get to know you a bit.

There have been some really good posts and good information offered.
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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2012, 06:56:35 PM »
Dal,
If nothing else, I just want to thank you for asking this question.  I've learned a lot from reading the replies. 

Welcome to the forum.  ;D
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Re: Forestry Practice?
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2012, 12:50:05 PM »
Quote
I'm not an expert on western US silviculture and anyone may correct me, but it is my understanding that the lack of thinning/cutting has led to high density stands containing a relatively high percentage of dead timber, which probably tends to burn easier and faster. High fuel loads is the term, I believe. 

That's not from management, that is the result of the ability to manage being obstructed or taken away.

That was the message I was trying to convey. Thanks for clarifying it.


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