Forum > Forestry and Logging

No logging in Smithers, WV

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Ron Wenrich:
Saw this one from the WV Gazette.

A logging operation on about 60 acres is planned on property owned by a coal company.  The land overlooks the towns of Smithers, Montgomery, and the Midland Trail Scenic Highway - a section of US 60 designated a National Scenic Byway last June.

Mayor Eddie Long is dead set against logging.  He has seen what they are doing on the otherside of the mountain.  "They're stripping the mountain over there.  I won't let that happen here."

The mayor and the city council have passed ordinances that ban logging in city limits and driving log trucks through town.  It also passed a resolution opposing logging that detracts from the town's view.

The mayor feels logging will detract from the area's effort to develop tourism.  The Midland Trail Scenic Highway Assn. supports the mayor's position.  

The association encourages business development that is compatible with the trail's scenic qualities.  They oppose any logging activities which intrude upon the traveler's range of view.

Question:  This is clearly a case of takings.  But, who is taking from whom?  The town taking from the landowner the right to do with his property which he sees fit?  Or the landowner taking from the community the right for a certain "quality of life" and green landscape?

I would say, although I have a simple mind, that you can't take what ain't yours.  The term "landowner" indicates that some citizen or entity "owns" the property, dirt, rocks, grass, bushes, trees and all.  It's not like the trees can get up and move from one lot to another.  

I don't know the situation  in Mayor Eddie Long's town but in many instances trees are a planted and manicured crop.  If this guy wants the trees to stand then he should be prepared to pay the "farmer" for his crop and those crops that would have followed.

Does the local government have any qualms about taxing the landowner(s) for owning the land?

Perhaps West Virginia is leaning toward tne nationalization of all lands.  Sounds like another anti-agricultural bureaucrat who "Jerry" would classify as being "educated beyond his intelligence".

If West Virginia decides that the land is the States' the only way they can generate any revenue from it will be to rent it to the citizens.  Then they can "control" the land use.

It sounds like another place I wouldn't want to live.

How many of these scenic vistas in west virginia Have a cellular phone tower stuck in the middle of it.

I'm just curious.......What did Long do for a living before he became a politician?

Hi There, as a Canadian, and someone who has logged silvacultural prescriptions for 20 years, I can tell you that the biggest problem is the jaded attitude that the general public has towards logging. And rightly so in most cases, because sound logging practices just are not enforced enough. Sound logging practices are nothing more than not removing to much of the stand and not damaging the residual trees. The main culprete is usually greed or ruthless subcontracting, or larger companies that truly dont give a danm.
This isnt a universal statement, as there are many contientsious operators, but the public sees what it sees. From the initial post, it sounds like the cut will be a clear one for mining, if this is the case, then its the price that must be paid for progress, and if the locals dont like it they should just push North, however the Americans are world forerunners in proper forest practice, but were all still pioneers, and still have a long way to go.


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