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Author Topic: No logging in Smithers, WV  (Read 6780 times)

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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No logging in Smithers, WV
« on: May 14, 2001, 04:02:33 AM »
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?
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Tom

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2001, 04:10:50 PM »
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.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2001, 04:26:16 PM »
How many of these scenic vistas in west virginia Have a cellular phone tower stuck in the middle of it.


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Offline Tom

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2001, 07:16:25 PM »
I'm just curious.......What did Long do for a living before he became a politician?
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Crazy_Canadian

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2001, 12:38:35 AM »
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.
John

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2001, 01:22:46 PM »
Sounds like a rerun of the famous Monongahela Decision against clearcutting in the 1970's. I was on the Monongahela National Forest at Richwood, West Virginia during the writing of the National Forest Management Act of 1976.

That's where public involvement began and where a drastic change in National Forest timber management was initiated through the courts.
~Ron

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2001, 05:13:40 PM »
Smithers, WV is located off of I-84 between Charleston and Buckley.  Found it on a map, and I'm not too sure of the population.

This is something that is going to be more prevalent in the future.  Forestry and logging as we know it may well change.  

Local governments do have the right to regulate all land activities in their jurisdiction.  If they decide that cutting timber is not within the interest of the community, they come first.  Not the landowner.  

This is what keeps your neighbor from putting in a dump, or have too many used cars sitting on his property.  In some communities, they can force a guy to cut his grass.  It is called zoning, and they can do what they want.

The point that we are missing is that the timber industry has no input in any decisions involving the zoning.  We want to sit on the sidelines and scream as soon as there is a decision against our position.  Then we talk about takings, seeing it only from our perspective.

The mayor has been fed a line from the Trail Assn.  Something most of us missed.  This town thinks that tourism is their ticket to prosperity.  Tourism only supplies seasonal, minimum wage jobs.  To make tourism pay, you must have something that attracts crowds for more than just a drive through, or a few hours.

Where the industry is loosing out is not working at the local level.  We want to legislate from the state level.  We want to educate the landowners.  We are misdirected.

We need to educate guys like Mayor Eddie Long.  Also, the head of the Trail Assn.  These guys are setting forest policy that effects everyone in the industry.  Mayor Long needs to realize that more money will be made by industry, especially a value added industry then by tourism.  

They all must be educated that timber growing, harvesting, and tourism are not incompatable.  Industry must change harvesting for lower visual impact in certain areas.  The consequences will be a smaller land base to work from, as more communities put more restrictions on us and withdraw more and more land.  

Now, I'll get off my soapbox.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Tom

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2001, 06:37:01 PM »
Logging, as an industry, will change.  It will change because of outside forces (Mayor Longs) and it will change because of inside forces (education, new ideas and technology).  There is no argument there.

Keeping a neighbor from doing something that "I" don't want him to do may not be the american way.

Being the first in the area, I was asked what restrictions should be put on the acreages in the area.  I said none and there are none.  The man that sold the property said that somebody might raise hogs next door.  I said that was his right whether I liked it or not.



The unfortunate thing about the citizenry and our government is the word "they".  We weren't created to be separate entities.  The citizens deserve a vote/voice when citizens are envolved in change. To have a few elected officials "gavel" you out of existance is un-American.

Now, having erased 2/3rds of what I wrote, I'll compose myself and post this note.

Holy Cow!! somebody gave me another tree!
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Offline RavioliKid

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2001, 04:17:40 PM »
Tom,

Congratulations on your new tree. I hope I get another one soon!

I think many professions suffer from people who regulate them - or try to do so - without adequate knowledge. The most unfortunate part of that is that the people involved don't even know that they don't know!

In my humble opinion, we need to work on developing consensus building and collaboration in our society. People are too eager to dig in their heels and insist that their solutions are the only ones that will work.

RavioliKid

Offline Gordon

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2001, 09:27:38 PM »
First let me start out by saying that we really don't know the full story. What have they done to the other side of the mountain? Have they trashed it or used B.M.P. to the hilt?

If they have trashed the mountain then I would lean toward the mayors side. If they logged it proper then I'm for the landowner 110 percent. Those trees are a crop just like the farmers corn. It just takes a lot longer to grow and that's the only difference.

Ron you are correct on the education part pertaining to the timber industry as a whole. No need to get off the soapbox. Always been playing catch up. The public overall views loggers=bad and trees=good.

Remember on another thread you brought up the point about clearcuts being a lot easier to hide in De. than in PA. because of the mountains. Same thing goes for WV. But it still boils down to public education as to why a clear cut is being done and the reasons behind it. Then again people will only learn what they really want to. It's also very hard to change a persons uneducated views that have been learned over a long period of time.

My true belief is that you should be able to cut timber on your property as you see fit. Not have to worry about some misguided mayor. Heck that's one of the main reasons I bought land in the country so I could do as I see fit with my property. Maybe not always 100 percent correct but I have no desire to be like the Jones.

Bottom line to all of this is knowledge and getting it to the people that need it most. What is the best way to do that?

Gordon




Offline timberbeast

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2001, 09:34:34 PM »
Man,  if they did that where I work,  I think they'd have about five counties of people out of jobs!!  Then again,  the stuff grows so fast up there it's amazing.  There was an 80 acre clear-cut across the county road from me ten years ago,  and you can't even get in with an ATV now.  There's 4" diameter balsam packing it already,  and lots of popple.  I feel that the trees on my property belong to me.  Then again,  I do buy a deer license,  but they aren't rooted,  nor are hogs or junk cars.
Where the heck is my axe???

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2001, 04:36:41 AM »
We've bought into the idea that a man home (land) is his castle.  That's the "American way".  The problem is that the American way is more of a democratic ideal, which is basically mob rule.  We use a representative system, and you are supposed to vote for the representative that is closest to your views.

So, that boils down to community over individual rights, no matter how misguided.

I favor timber policy being set at the local level.  One size fits all does not do well at either the state or federal level.  Some areas should allow clearcutting, while other areas should not.  It should be a standard that fits the local ideal.  I don't favor the no cutting idea in any area.

Clearcut areas will develop into a nice forest, if there is sufficient regeneration.  My neighbor did a logger selection cut.  The area grew up in multiflora rose and golden rod with no regeneration from the residuals.  There will never be a forest there unless the brush is removed and possibly replanted.  Something not done in most hardwood forests.

Trees are considered real estate until they are cut.  At that time, they become personnal property.

Our state considers deer to be their property.  A local was accused of shooting deer off season, and the state declared the deer to be their property.  The local said if they are theirs, then how come they don't pay for property damage caused by deer?   Case thrown out of court.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Kevin

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2001, 05:43:38 AM »
I wonder what was there prior to  the towns of Smithers, Montgomery, and the Midland Trail Scenic Highway!

Ron; I suspect that deer was on private propertycausing the land owner grief, the Game and Fish people regulate and manage hunting and fishing seasons, I think that would be a clear cut case of poaching if it was killed on state owned land or even private land where no damage was being done.

Up here they`re clear cutting everything and replanting with jackpine, it`s called farming the forest and they`re making one hell of a mess!  It all boils down to money and jobs and taxes of course.

Offline Jeff

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2001, 06:38:17 AM »
Kevin, You get a unique opportunity to get a good look at Forest management in 2 different countries, is there anything noticably different when you come into Michigan?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2001, 10:34:56 AM »
Jeff;
I don`t see much in the way of logging in northern Michigan, there`s a lot of open country across the river and it appears as though it was cut and cleared many years ago although I must also admit I haven`t seen it all.
There is truck load after truck load of lumber that leaves here bound for the U.S every day which leads me to believe there can`t be a whole lot of logging going on over there but I don`t know.
They have clear cut entire townships up here in order to mono culture the jack pine.
They have left 100 meter buffers around what are considered areas of concern such as rivers, lakes and roads so most people don`t even know what`s beyond .
It`s almost criminal to change the diversity of an entire forest but I guess it`s a necessary evil to some extent.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2001, 05:32:38 PM »
Mono cultures are huge problems when you get some type of disease or insect that attacks.  We had that problem with gypsy moth.  Went from one end of the state to the other, largely due to past cutting practices.  Hind site is 20/20.

We do very little clearcutting on private property.  Most clearcuts are on state lands and there is no planting afterwards.  Usually after a seedtree or shelterwood cut.  Pines are a very minor market.

Other clearcuts are ahead of strip mines.  I guess that will increase with the new energy crisis.  Land is usually replanted in pine - red and Japanese larch.  Larch makes good utlity poles.

Trailer loads of lumber coming into the states- primarily pine?  US imports something like 1/3 of its lumber from Canada.  It is primarily pine.  So, it sounds like you guys are gearing up to satisfy the American markets.

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline timberbeast

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2001, 06:36:54 PM »
Ron,  you are correct in pointing out that this is not a democracy,  it is a constitutional republic,  based upon individual rights,  which the founders made clear.  Yet,  as long as we allow individual rights to slowly erode,  by not demanding what we want from our reps,  we will slowly and surely become socialist.
"The main danger of this Repulic is that someday it may degenerate into a Democracy." -Benjamin Franklin
Where the heck is my axe???

Offline Kevin

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2001, 08:17:29 PM »
The main product seems to be spruce 2 x everything.
Primarily construction studs.
The thing about the jack is it matures in about 50-55 years and is ready to harvest at which time they can replant the crop.
Every human generation gets a fresh supply of wood.

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: No logging in Smithers, WV
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2001, 02:14:27 PM »
You just gotta love those trees!

Keep planting them, and we'll always have enough. 8)
RavioliKid


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