Forest interactions

Discussion of general forest ecology concepts and of forest management practices.

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Don
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by Don » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:03 pm

Well the Nevadans holed up at the Malheur Game Refuge might argue that point...; ~ }
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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jeffk
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by jeffk » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:26 pm

Joe-
How quickly we forget! I've got that beautiful Harvard Forest Wildlands andWoodlands pamphlet sitting on my bookshelf. Those public hearings and working sessions presented by the DCR stick in my mind. They drew all types of viewpoints ... talk about entrenched values!

So where do I go to see an example of good forestry in practice? I'm seeing a lot of logging trucks headed to Canada, private land logged and then an "Acreage For Sale" sign going up, maple syrupers culling the woods of anything but sugar maples so they can run sap-lines and drive their ATV's unobstructed, DCR logging operation which succeeded in creating a tick infested beech thicket, stacks of firewood logs from who knows where ... all right here in Conway!

Not being sarcastic, really interested in examples of what forestry can achieve.

I don't know much about the western ranching problem, but they seem just plain selfish to me. Government bureaucracy can be pretty anal also. Bad mix.

JeffK

Joe

Re: Forest interactions

Post by Joe » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:49 am

Jeff, I'd say that most of the forestry work in Mass. at this time is pretty good- some is excellent. Even the work on the state land is greatly improved- not counting their insistence that clear-cutting is the best thing since sliced bread. It's true that many forests for sale- get blasted. I'm not sure what that's about- apparently real estate brokers and many loggers tell landowners that you might as well slaughter the forest- get as much value as possible out of it- because it has no effect on the sale price of the land. But I bet you could call any consulting forester in the state and ask them to show you some good harvesting work and they will. There still are some out and out "timber beasts" because they can get away with it- as long as you don't criticize state policy, they don't bother you. If you do criticize state policy- you can get investigated by the forester license board- that has happened to myself and Mike Leonard- the 2 who do the most criticizing of policy- both times I've had to get the ACLU to get the state's jack boots off my neck!

As for maple syrup producers- that is the best way to maximize sugar production- for which they'll NEVER earn much money so I don't blame them. Regarding that DCR job you mentioned- please tell us more- take some photos- ask the state for a copy of the cut plan- if it's really a bad job, I'd like to know. Keep in mind that what looks bad to some people doesn't look bad to others. Good forestry doesn't always look good to everybody- though in general, it should look pretty good if it is good silviculture.

Consulting forester Mike Leonard has a great Facebook photo album showing his work: https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/? ... 4529310729. I've seen many of those projects and it is indeed excellent silviculture which doesn't mean you'd like it but from the perspective of professional foresters, it really is good. He has most of the low quality/value trees removed- and leaves the trees with the potential to produce the most value. That might seem to be a bad value system to some- but compared to the high grading that dominated logging in the Northeast for a hundred years, it's fantastic. He puts on events showing his work a few times each year- you should attend one.

I've been a forester for 42 years and have never high graded. If I had, I'd be wealthy today and comfortably retired at the age of 66, instead of still working despite ever increasing arthritis. I did hundreds of timber harvests in the Berkshires. Some stands I've worked 2-3 times- which is possible when done right. I don't do clearcuts- unless the owner insists- which happened a few years ago when one owner simply wanted more open land behind his house. The owner and his wife are Europeans and they're not used to have a cottage deep in the forest with no open land to look at so they wanted a 6 acre clearcut. The other 70 acres I simply thinned. That acreage was so thick with a hemlock understory that he never walked in it and you could hardly see all the really nice big oak and pine. After the thinning- most of the hemlock was removed along with weeviled pine and oaks with low forks and other serious health problems- now that 70 acres is beautiful- almost park like and the owners love it.

so, yes, there still is bad logging- but the situation has greatly improved- and it's time for the public to stop demonizing all "forestry".

Joe

Joe

Re: Forest interactions

Post by Joe » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:58 am

Don wrote:Well the Nevadans holed up at the Malheur Game Refuge might argue that point...; ~ }
Right- I've heard them say the feds should give the land "back"- as if they once owned it- meanwhile, it's the Indians who really got screwed.

Joe

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Lucas
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by Lucas » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:13 pm

https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.3819537, ... 312!8i6656

https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.3815181, ... 312!8i6656

I drove by these wood piles the other day and a lot of the "logs" would be hard pressed to make 3 inches.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

jeffk
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by jeffk » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:39 pm

Joe -
Thanks for the info on Mike Leonard. i'll check out his website and see if he's offering any site tours.

I have to admit, I was one of those turned off by the apparent destruction created by logging or silva-culture, but after learning more about it, I can see the positive aspects and appreciate the ecology behind it. Bottom line is if a forest is being actively managed it's likely to remain that way for a generation, and less likely to be sold off for development.

That logging operation that created large areas of stump and root sprout beech thickets was done in Conway SF, oh, maybe 8 years ago. Looked pretty much like a clear-cut to me with "matriarch" oaks left here and there. I'll have to go back this year and check it out.

Jeff

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Don
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by Don » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:23 pm

Jeff
I appreciate your willingness to revisit past logging operations...all of them, in my experience even the best, offend the eye in the short term (recently harvested cornfields going to stubble come to mind). Joe, and Mike, I'm sure can show you timber harvests done with a gentle and guiding hand, particularly those a decade or older.
Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

Joe

Re: Forest interactions

Post by Joe » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:56 am

Jeff, I can also show you some projects in my current area of eastern Franklin County- which I've done in the past few years. I'd rather do it when the foliage is on- which always looks better. All my Berkshire projects are too far from hear for that purpose unless I was planning to go over there. I could probably be better at explaining such work than Mike since he can be a bit "gruff" and he has zero patience for anyone who has any dislike of forestry- whereas, I have plenty of patience for that. Though I disagree with most of Mike's politics- his forestry work is very good and he's done a lot more than I have in recent years since I'm now in the lazy point of life. (ha, ha). I just asked him if he'll be doing any events this spring and he will be. But, when the foliage is back, I'll also be happy to show you some projects in and near the town of Orange. Other foresters- state and private also put on such events and I think it would be interesting for you to see some. As Don pointed out, even a good project looks not so great in the short term- but there is a "half life" to that - within 4-5 years, in well done projects, the forest will look better than it did before- not before the pale faces showed up centuries ago, but before the silviculture work improved on a high graded forest.

As for beech thickets. There's nothing really wrong with beech thickets. They're more common with light thinning since the species is shade tolerant. With a large opening, other, faster growing species will come in and overtop the beech. Later, much of the beech can be removed in thinnings.
Joe

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Don
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Re: Forest interactions

Post by Don » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:41 pm

Beech thickets...I probably tried to push their recall into the distant corners of my mind...too many branches over the years have whipped me into a whining state of submission, man they smart!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

jeffk
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:22 pm

Re: Forest interactions

Post by jeffk » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:17 pm

Thanks for the offer to show me some of your work Joe, I'll get back to you after leaf-out.

Don - my experience walking through beech thickets was not pleasant either - came out with ticks crawling all over me. I'm now interested to see what that beech growth in the CSF looks like now. I've seen some Cowls Lumber land abutting this state forest with dense beech sapling growth - logged maybe 30 years ago??? And have read here and there about efforts to control it with Round-Up ... sounds unnecessary if nature takes her course.

Jeff

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