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Author Topic: New Clear-cutting  (Read 4868 times)

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Offline Forester Frank

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New Clear-cutting
« on: February 08, 2001, 02:33:11 PM »
Attention landowners and interested parties.

No Clearcutting in Presque Isle Township in Presque Isle County by order of the highly intelligent folks on the Zoning Board from said township.

Got a FAX that spells out all the details. I'll type them up and post them Friday.

Let's GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!
Forester Frank

Online Jeff

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2001, 03:50:40 PM »
Let's try to guess the occupations of the members of that zoning board. Better not on second thought.:o
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2001, 04:07:35 AM »
We have all types of restrictions put down by the local zoning boards.  They tend to be in the more populated areas.  Clearcut bans are the most common.

One township has a law that you can't cut more than 3 trees on your property without having a permit from the zoning board.

Another township has a law that you can't harvest without an approved management plan.  I had to write a management plan for a tract that was blown down.  The reviewer of my plan was the township engineer, who just rubber stamped to avoid any complications.

Silvicultural clearcuts are pretty rare in PA.  They are usually on state grounds.  Economic clearcuts are quite common.  Too bad the zoners can't tell the difference.
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Offline Forester Frank

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2001, 07:46:09 AM »
This is a long post, but well worth reading if you are a forester, a natural resource professional, or even a landowner. Especially landowners concerned with private property rights.

Transcript sent via FAX on 2/6/01 to Michigan DNR from an anonymous landowner in Presque Isle Twp. FAX Replicated for users of the Timber Buyers Network. FAX reads as follows:

F.Y.I. RE: Presque Isle County, Presque Isle Township.

Direct Comments to:
Steve Long, Presque Isle Twp. Zoning Administrator
Executive Director Presque Isle Harbor
6424 Kauffman Road
Presque Isle, MI 49777
Phone 517-595-2411
FAX   517-595-3183

Tree Cutting and Harvesting

The township finds that growth and development result in increased demands on natural resources both in the elimination of woodlands as an economic resource but also as a recreational resource. These woodland resources constitute an important physical, aesthetic, environmental, recreational and economic asset to current and future residents of this township.

Woodland growth protects the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of this Township by the absorption of pollutants, control of erosion, visual screening through buffering for the reduction of noise and visual pollution, maintaining the natural beauty of the Township and for the protection of groundwater recharge areas and subsurface water resources. The protection of these areas are a matter public concern and therefore subject to this ordinance.

In all districts "clearcutting" will not be allowed. Clearcutting shall be defined as a harvesting method that removes all the trees on an area in one operation. Also, the total elimination of an entire species on an area in one operation will not be allowed. Selective trimming, pruning, or clearing of trees for the purpose of increasing forest growth or, private cutting of firewood, shall be excluded from this section unless such operations involve heavy equipment and more than two(2) trucks exceeding two(2)tons capacity. In all districts, no more than 67% of the trees may be cut within a 20 year time frame. All districts must submit a plot plan for the preservation of forestland or the reforestation of land prior to building or of a use requiring the removal of trees.

Districts R1 and R2 - Lots and Parcels Equal to or Less than 2 acres.

1. All applications for zoning permits for residential building construction (any district) must be accompanied by a plot plan which shows how the applicant plans to maintain the vegetative cover on their property. This vegetative cover shall include trees, shrubs, or herbaceous plants. In cases where the removal of most or all of the vegetative cover is necessary for residential construction, re-forestation/re-vegetation of indigenous species, must be included on the site plan. The cutting of trees and vegetation shall be minimal for the purpose intended.

2. All Districts - Parcels over 2 acres - Select harvesting of trees may e allowed by special use permit only after submitting a harvest  plan prepared by a Registered Forester. A registered forester is a professional forester whose credentials have been evaluated by a State Board of Examiners and who has been certified as meeting the professional standards required for registration.

For parcels larger than 5 acres a 200 foot greenbelt must be maintained on the front of the parcel.

Additional Items Include:
a. a method to maintain the diverse tree types and aging.
b. protection of rare and endangered species.
c. a clear statement of the landowners objectives, short and long term.
d. effect on adjacent land.
e. methods to protect any small ponds, springs, seeps, and/or wetlands.
f. harvesting methods.
g. credentials of forester.
h. size of parcel.
i. ownership of parcel
j. a description and topographical map of the property and of its biological capability to meet the landowners objectives, obligation and constraints.
k. soils description of parcel.
l. species survey and inventory.

End of FAX

Nice little plan isn't it? Now who will be the first to challenge it? Presque Isle Township is located north of Alpena, Michigan. Home of hardboard manufacturer Louisiana-Pacific / ABTCo .

Stay Tuned! There's more to come.>:(
Forester Frank

Offline Gordon

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2001, 08:35:01 AM »
That is a shame to say the least. I do agree with the 200 foot of green cover at the roadside. People don't understand why a clearcut is done. That will hide the clearcuts from those uneducated people.::)
Gordon

Offline Forester Frank

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2001, 09:00:04 AM »
Gordy:

I am not one for hiding the truth. By leaving a buffer to hide a clear-cut, then aren't we hiding the truth about forest management.

Clear-cutting is an accepted practice, meant to mimic a natural disturbance, and used for managing shade-intollerant species such as aspen and jack pine.

I agree that many people do not understand the priciples behind certain types of forest management. The question is, should we hide it from them, or show them the truth.

Here is a way to show the truth and develop a buffer in the same action.

About mid-November I clear-cut a 66' wide area of aspen forest type along nearly a mile long strip of road. The road has about three or four homes on that mile, but it is well traveled by others. I think you would agree that I did not hide this cutting. Considering aesthetics the cut is only 66' wide, and the entire harvest area is only 2 acres.

Over the next few years these residents and others will see the aspen flurish. I expect some regerating stems to grow at least six feet tall by next October. The residents will in turn come to realize that the forest will grow back quite rapidly.

The aspen stand behind the current cut area is scheduled for harvest in 2005. By this time the aspen will have regenerated, creating a 66' buffer for the future cut. It will not completely hide the cut, as the mature aspen will tower over the 5 year olds. What it will do is serve as an educational tool for the residents that witnessed the Y2K cutting. They will know that the forest of the 2005 cut will soon grow back.

What do you think?
Forester Frank

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2001, 02:04:57 PM »
I'm currently reading a book called The Northeast's Changing Forest by Lloyd Irland.  Not a cheap book, but a good read for anyone in forest management.  I'm only 1/3 of the way through the book.

What you have is a problem of management styles.  I'm not sure how compatable they are, but get used to them.

You are managing from a land production point-of-view, and the township is into landscape management.  The clearcutting issue gets into problems with the landscape management aspect.  Someone is going to have to get to common ground.

I had one area where the gypsy moth completely killed about 150 acres.  We were going to do a salvage clearcut.  There was a 2 ton weight limit on the road, and the township supervisor would not let us bond it.  It was his way of not allowing timber cutting in that area.

We threatened to sue him, not the township, since it was his decision.  This was dead timber, and losing value, not live standing wood.  He backed down and we clearcut.

I don't know if that is an option in your case.  Small clearcuts that are less than 1-2 acres in area may sidestep their issues.

Their regs are ripe for high-grading and stand degradation due to that practice.  

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

Offline Gordon

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2001, 05:42:35 PM »
Frank, I must say that your approach is very smart. Educating people and whats even better they don't even realize that your doing it.

The main reason I agree with the buffer is not to hide the clearcut from the public. But to make it less of a shock so to speak, when they drive by. Forest one day and nothing the next.

Clearcuts are a management tool and I have nothing against them. In some areas it is by far the best way to cut. You won't get any arguement out of me on that one. The average person who has no idea about forestry, just thinks when they see a clearcut that the loggers have ruined the forest. People will only take the time to learn what they want to---sad but true.

But once again your idea on the buffer is great!
Gordon

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2001, 06:13:45 PM »
Frank, the clear cuts up U.S. 27 are a good example of what I like to call "in your face clear cuts". They are where people that travel that corridor have to see them. I see this as good. The innitial reaction is that of "what a shame". But that same reaction changes as these people watch that same area become a new forest before thier eyes.

Some of these folks that drive by see the area maybe 2 or 3 times a year. So in a year or 2 or 3 they see, that yes, a new forest is emerging.
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Ezekiel 22:30

Online Don P

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2001, 02:06:22 PM »
Seems like as good a place as any to ask for input on my homemade forestry plan. We have 36 acres in the southern appalachians. The land has been the victim of several rounds of high grading.We've even wondered about the genetics of the seed stock after that much abuse. My little mill is at the base of a natural bowl about 600' elevation change to the rim. As I'm just sawing for personal use a few MBF/yr I've started at one property line and am working a rolling clearcut from top to bottom across the face of the bowl as I need lumber. Although straight up the mountain its never wide. Then I planned to follow behind and thin in a few years. Feasible?  Our supervisors have recently voted in zoning for our benefit, oh boy.:o
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2001, 03:32:06 PM »
Here's my take on clearcutting in general.  It has its places in forest management, but it can be used too quickly in many instances in hardwood management.

Most clearcutting takes place in softwood stands.  After the clearcutting, measures are taken to re-establish the stand through slash removal, site preparation, and planting.  Hardwood management rarely goes to those extremes.  Its usually cut and stand back and see what grows.

Some sort of rationale must be in place before you clearcut.  You must have adequate regeneration or you'll end up with a brush heap, or a stand that is in even worse condition.  The best way for most hardwoods is through a shelterwood cut.  That is where you leave the better trees for a seed source, and eliminate everything smaller.  There is some opening in the canopy, but not so much as to degrade the residual stand, but enough to allow sunlight to hit the forest floor.  After you have advanced regeneration, then you clearcut.

For lighter seeded species, which require more light to get started, you can use a seedtree approach.  That is just a heavier shelterwood cutting.

There are some species which thrive on clearcuts.  Most notably is aspen, which concerns many in Michigan.  Here in the Northeast, we frown on aspen.  We can grow higher dollar values by growing other species.  We have no grade market for aspen.

The only other times clearcutting is acceptable is during salvage operations.  We had several of these during the gypsy moth outbreaks where all high grade material was killed, and the residual stand was low grade.  Made sense to cut everything.

High grading will degrade the genetics.  Clearcutting isn't necessarily the remedy.
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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2001, 09:25:09 AM »
:o Tell me more! The opening I have made presently is about 150' wide and extends about 250' up the mountain so far.That has taken 3 years. When I first got the mill it was after a winter of terrible ice storms that had followed rain trees were laid down everywhere. I salvaged enough for the mill house a small drying barn and the kitchen cabinets. Boy is she patient they're still stickered in the living room. Once I had cleaned up all I could get to of that,the plan was to take a tree here and there. I quickly realized this was both hazardous to me but also to every other tree around it. I kept making patches that I knew would later be crossed in however many years as I went after the next few trees. these little spots were appearing all over the lower slopes and I wasn,t going far up the hill. That led to the present scheme of taking everything from a slice of the hill at a time. I had planned on just sitting back for several years to see what came up then thinning for the best. The area I'm in now is old Chestnut grove that became mostly tulip poplar,some good northern red oak, sorry red maples and locust turning to pine as the rocky face pops out above my present cut. The downside is I,m still crossing what I hoped would be regenerating 3 years later and realistically I,m still 2 years from the top line. When I described the cut as rolling...perhaps creeping would be a better term. As there is a landscape issue here, this is my front yard, everything is cleared tree by tree and used. This year the multiflora was the dominant thing at the very base of the cut so I recut that area. Is there a better way on my scale? I can only digest for my purposes a small amount at a time but I would like to leave it coming back better than what was here. Its a stewardship issue, as this would be small scale. What should I do?  
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2001, 03:41:42 PM »
My suggestion would be to start at the top and run down slope.  It is easier to log, and you don't have to go through your regeneration.

You are doing strip clearcuts.  They work OK, since your regeneration will be coming from the fringe trees.

If you just want to thin your stand, cut the absolute worst trees.  Don't leave them for seed stock.  It is hard to release a small tree, especially in the area you have discribed.  Those small trees are probably the same age as the larger trees.

It sounds like it is an overgrown field, for the most part.  Either that or there was a clearcut after the blight hit.  Most areas were fields at one time, at least here in the East.  Black locust is an indicator of a heavy cutting.  They will come up in your clearcut before your more desirable trees, and they are really hard to get rid of.

Multiflora is another problem.  Nothing will grow underneath them.  I had an overgrown field that was full of multiflora.  I only got to control it by putting in goats.  Now I just mow it.  The multiflora flourished because there was no advanced regenration present.

Pines on the uphill slopes is OK, as well.  Pine can grow on poorer quality sites than hardwoods.  Hardwoods should be reserved for the better sites.
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Online Don P

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2001, 06:07:36 AM »
Ron, thanks for the replies, although you are making me wonder if I need to go buy curtains.:D
The situation is EXACTLY as you describe. The Chestnuts were logged...Tulip poplar seems to like the same areas where the best stumps are. Yes, whenever soil is disturbed locust and rose erupt FAST. I,ve been told Locust grown in the open has no rot resistance(?). They also have some type of leaf miner and apparently a tip borer of some type, gnarly and short lived, but do I leave them to provide early shade and take them later? Creeping or rolling, sounds like I would leave the fringe behind in short order. Strip makes more sense, it must have a common average width? What about the adjoining strip I leave? How wide should it be, how long do I leave it? What constitutes a good seed tree? No, I would rather not just thin as after working to get the trash out I'm greedy and want that FAS log. My reason for working bottom to top was hang-ups, I quit top down after managing to hang 7 trees together:o
The pines on the rocky upper slopes are a species I don't know, darker bark,scrubby,small spindly branches generally dies at small size, I planned on planting that area to White Pine. The rest I had hoped to thin for hardwoods...I had heard that oaks aren't hurt by having the sapling cut down a few times, that the root just builds and bides its time(?). Yes the small trees often are even older than the giants...one 12" R.O. was over 100 years (a zillion rings per inch). Friends have used goats but they seem to prefer to either girdle the trees or party in the neighbors garden (if it won't hold water it won't hold a goat):D I've resorted to mowing (gravel making) pulling and cursing the rose.Guys, thanks for your advice, its always nice to see the curve get steep!
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2001, 05:02:21 PM »
A good seed tree is one you want in your sawmill.  Actually, you want a preferred species for your site.  That may be oak, cherry, pine, or maple, depending on your area.  What grows best.  You want a dominant tree, since it had the genes to make it dominant.

What you don't want is a scrawny little red maple that is barely surviving.  Too often that is what is left behind and is one of the reasons it is the fastest growing species here in PA.

As for black locust, it is a legume and helps to fixate nitrogen into the soil.  Since they don't grow well in competition, they can easily be eliminated.  They make great posts, and good firewood.  But, don't burn too much locust.  It has a natural creosote that will cause your chimney to creosote.  Only chimney fire I ever had was from burning old locust fence posts in the dead of January.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: New Clear-cutting
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2001, 07:22:22 PM »
If they were old enough they might perhaps have been dipped in creosote as well.
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking


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