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Re: I Confess> Tree-hugger

Actually what happened was the National Forests were set up for a 100 year
harvest rotation (at least in the PNW). But then a whole lot of the forest
was put off limits to harvests but the politicians that did this to please
the environmentalists weren't willing to sock it to the folks who made there
living in the woods so the harvest levels were allowed to continue as if the
stuff off limits was still available for harvesting and the tough decision
was postponed. The tough decision has now arrived. Timber companies have
done a better job on their own lands, but they also face a changing set of
rules that put some of their timber off limits. Actual rotations in the PNW
is somewhat longer than 50 years (70 might be a better number), particularly
on public land. Private timber owners may get a shorter cycle by better
management. As to what is right, that is another question - and it is
certainly gray, not black or white.

But this frequently affects us as horsemen. We lose trails to logging (the
road building frequently follows established trails) and we lose trails to
environmentalists who don't think a horse is any better than a chainsaw.
There is currently a petition before the Washington Forestry Board to
require private land owners to do a recreational and scenic impact statement
before receiving approval to cut timber. For the most part, equestrians have
a pretty good relationship with private timber companies, even though as
private property owners they have no obligation to let you use their land.
But the added costs of that type of regulation may make some of these
(particularly those with low elevation property close to development) to
decide that development is more profitable than timber harvesting.

Duncan Fletcher

----- Original Message -----
From: David LeBlanc <>
> Much of my schooling is in Environmental Engineering, and we're not a
> terribly liberal bunch overall - but one does have to recognize that (for
> example) if it takes 50 years for a forest to recover from a clear-cut to
> the point it can be cut again (this is about right for the PNW), then if
> you're cutting at a faster rate than 2% of your land per year, there's
> point you run out and can't cut any more.  Unfortunately, it seems like
> logging companies don't do this sort of math very well, so they're running
> out.  It's also to some degree an artifact of history - they cut
> in sight in the 30's, so it became ripe again in the 80's.  There's so
> little old growth forest left that we can buy maps at the book store so
> that we can even FIND these places that I can't see where the logging
> companies ought to be in there, but this is ridecamp, not the
> discussion list, so...
> David LeBlanc

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