Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sharpening the axe on sustainable forestry

The land management technique of sustainable forestry is in the spotlight again this week, and the light is getting pretty hot.
Via Tidepool comes this story from the Eugene Register Guard about this week's Public Interest Environmental Law conference (PIELC.ORG) at the University of Oregon. The issue is between those who favor some sort of sustainable forestry, or thinning, and those who oppose any kind of cutting at all. What's interesting is who is lining up on the various sides. According to the article...
"At the conference, members of the Sierra Club and the Native Forest Council will undergo their annual renewal of vows to end commercial logging on federal land. Meanwhile, the Cascadia Wildlands Project and the Oregon Natural Resources Council will argue that there should be more logging - and more logging jobs and wood for mills - on federal lands. They're talking about thinning, not clear-cuts.
But the very idea of environmentalists touting a logging regimen raises the hackles of some in the zero-cut crowd.
"I consider these (pro-logging) people either corrupt, naive or heavily indoctrinated lemmings and sheep," said Tim Hermach of the Eugene-based Native Forest Council, which has 3,000 members nationally.
In the topsy-turvy world of new environmentalism, the loudest voices for increased logging have emerged from the radical, tree-sitting Earth First! group. And the stubborn, zero-cut stance comes from the large and venerable Sierra Club.
A switch in philosophy
The environmentalists now in favor of logging have read scientific articles and come to the conclusion that more cutting would be better for the forests, said James Johnston, executive director of the Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands Project, which has 600 members.
A series of studies out of Northwest universities in the past decade has shown that human-planted fir trees on federal land are unlikely to turn into old growth forests without thinning. "

The environmental debate is indeed changing.


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