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Reports From The States

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Ron Scott:

The Board of Forestry now requires the landowners to obtain, and pay for, state permission to cut down old-growth trees. An environmental review must be conducted by a registered professional forester before harvest of trees that existed before 1800 and are at least 4' in diameter. For redwoods the diameter is 5'.

That same sort of "crap" was tried here in Oregon a couple of years ago with a signature pattition called "Measure 64".  It would have not allowed me to harvest any tree on my place that was over 24"dbh.   That would have included 80% of the growing fiber I have.  That included: Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Gary Oak, and Western Big Leaf Maple.   As far AS I am concerned that is a taking of personal property, but the "Tree Huggers" felt great about it.   The measure was defeated 2 to 1.   I was sure happy about that, because I did not want them to have to bring a lunch to try and stop me from harvesting any of  "my" timber.  They probably would have left wrappers as the trees would have been falling in their direction. :D :D :D >:(

It amazes me that legislatures can't see the other end of the stick.

When conservationist start stirring the political waters here about the prohibition of cutting trees,  trees begin to fall everywhere.

It's a "cause and effect" that ends up with trees on the ground that wouldn't have been put there if everything had been left to the owner of the tree.

Cause:  Road work on one side of town. "We're going to stop this cutting of the trees in the right-of-way"
Effect:  All the trees in the Right-of-way on the other side of town, where no road work is being done yet, fall.

Cause:  To conserve a woodpecker. "We're going to stop the cutting of all Old Long Leaf and the harvesting of trees within 500 feet of it."
Effect:  All the concerned Tree Farmers search out the Long Leaf and immediately cut all of what were their prize trees.

Cause:  Save Wetlands by the association of wetlands trees..  "We're going to  disallow the use of property that has wetland trees to protect the planet but still be able to get the taxes for the ground."  "It'll be great"
Effect: The farmers and developers immediately cut down all the cypress, gums, bays or any other plant that may hint of wetlands so they will not be put out of business. Trees that they had left standing for esthetic purposes or for shade for cows.

The elderly mother of one of my customers in a neighboring community is in court because she had a diseased Live Oak that was leaning over her house cut down. Her fine is in excess of $1000 and she has been mandated to plant a tree for every inch of circumference of the old tree, or some rule like that. She has lived in this house forever and there is a good possibility that she planted the tree when she was a young girl. Because she hasn't the room on her lot to hold all these "new" trees the city may let her plant them along the streets for decoration, if they meet city specifications.

Where's the logic?  It escapes me.

I agree, Tom.  It's amazing how people are unable to grasp basic logic.  If any "old-growth" is prohibited from logging, the state has created a situation where it is unwise for a landholder to have a long rotation age for fear of being branding as having old-growth trees.  

If society (the government) decides that these trees should be left standing, then it should be up to that party to pay the landholder market value for the resource as well as the expectation value for future harvests.  Without doing that, it is equal to applying emminent domain without compensation.

Ron Wenrich:
You've brought up a bunch of issues.  And it all revolves around how governments currently try to work.

On wetlands, the Feds have an unfunded mandate.  Although the premiss is worthwhile from a societal and even an environmental standpoint, the burden falls on the landowner.  

The second point is trying to govern all situations from one central area.  Central governments are inefficient.  They cannot not manage on a local level.  That should be left up to the local governments.

Then you have the problem that the locals are ignorant.  I've seen a ton of tree cutting ordinances that are totally worthless and usually counterproductive..  No clearcutting will result in highgrading.   They would benefit greatly by putting a consulting forester on their payroll to write and oversee local harvesting practices and make sure they are in line with local sentiment.

You can manage for old growth.  But, maybe that is best left on government properties.  Some areas in Canada use a 400 year rotation cycle.  We've reduced ours to less than 75 years in the North and much less in the South.


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