Joe wrote:I am particularly interested in this because I had a debate with my state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program which tries to protect species near the edge of their range- including trees- which has caused them to tell me that some species of trees near the edge of their range are VERBOTEN to cut. I wasn't happy about that- that an agency can restrict my silvicultural work with totalitarian power- causing one of many "wars" with state agencies. I couldn't even thin one species where there were dozens of specimens!
Wow, that's ironic considering the battle to save the mature tuliptrees from being logged at the northern edge of their natural range in Robinson State Park/Massachusetts.
Exactly, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. In the last decade, when the state of Mass. did many very poor quality logging projects in state forests- most broke many of the regulations. In Windsor State Forest I saw where a skidder drove RIGHT THROUGH a vernal pool. If I had done that, I'd be in Walpole prison. In Savoy Forest they clearcut to within 20' of a cemetery- and those trees within the 20' all fell on to gravestones. At Robinson, the plan was to bulldoze all the nice hiking trails to make them more accessible to skidders- and that park is only about 800 acres and surrounded by many cities- a favorite place for hiking, bird watching, dog walking, etc. being treated as if it were up in Maine. I went to look at a thinning in Sandisfield and was shocked to see 12" DBH red oak and sugar maple marked for cutting while leaving many low value trees. I could go on all day. Oh, there were many rare and endangered species in the 18 acre solar "farm" built next to my 'hood. I had called the natural heritage agency about that but they were not interested because governor Patrick was pushing solar. I really could write a book about forestry- the size of a James Michener novel.
Another- in Savoy they clearcut an 18 acre stand of mixed conifers (much of it was NS). They didn't remove the slash since the site is too far from any biomass plant. The slash was several feet deep! see my video on this: https://vimeo.com/2090043
The state has been trying to wipe out all non native species on state lands, meaning plantations of Norway spruce, Scotch pine- and even plantations of red pine. Many of these should have been thinned instead. The NS they hate because it's not native but it's a fine species. The state claimed they were all "decadent". But that's not true because I spent many hours hiking in those stands. They were very dense and made excellent winter shelter for deer and other species. Many of the red pine stands were stagnant but still could have been thinned rather than clearcut. My thought on why the states and feds like clear cutting isn't so much because it's more profitable (they're on salary so rational economics is irrelevant to them) but because clearcut projects are easier to set up- rather than spend the hours looking at every tree and pondering wildlife values, aesthetics, etc.