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Study: ‘Intense’ forest thinning best way to ease future wildfires [Captain Obvious story]
SIERRA VISTA Herald/Review ^ | CASSONDRA STRANDE

Posted on 08/29/2011 3:57:54 PM PDT by SandRat

t may have taken the largest wildfire in Arizona history, but for the first time in decades, environmentalists and government officials agree on a key element of future forest management.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a report this month that “intense thinning treatments” can ease future wildfires, by removing trees between six and 18 inches in diameter to allow for additional space between trees.

“Everyone agrees that a lot of the dry forest types need to be treated in terms of removing the vegetation,” said Morris Johnson, a research ecologist with the Forest Service and co-author of the report.

Intense thinning, according to the report, is reducing stands to leave 50 to 100 trees per acre. The study provides scientific grounds for continuing the practice of thinning heavily forested areas, showing that “the model and the reality match,” said Shaula Hedwall of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(Excerpt) Read more at svherald.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: agree; environmentalists; forestfire; forestthinning; study
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1 posted on 08/29/2011 3:58:00 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

Since when have the environazis caught up with common sense? My head may explode!


2 posted on 08/29/2011 4:01:26 PM PDT by upchuck (Rerun: Think you know hardship? Wait till the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency.)
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To: SandRat

3 posted on 08/29/2011 4:07:23 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Forest fires ARE “intense forest thinning”.


4 posted on 08/29/2011 4:11:50 PM PDT by Williams (Honey Badger Don't Care)
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To: SandRat; forester; george76; Carry_Okie; Grampa Dave; tubebender; hedgetrimmer; BOBTHENAILER; ...
Well... whataya know about dat???

If EnvironMentalism is a religion, then forest thinning must be weeding out the sinners so everyone involved can be come sanctified by good stewardship!!!

EnvironMentalism is ruining the shakey concept of "separation of church and state" by merging with leftists infatuated with GovernMentalism!!!

5 posted on 08/29/2011 4:12:09 PM PDT by SierraWasp (I'm done being disappointed by "He/She is the only one who can win" and being embarrassed later!!!)
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To: SandRat

Put cattle back in the forest and the problem will take csre of itself. They will keep the underbrush and weeds cleaned up, the Forest Service will make money off of it and the economy will benefit.

The liberal/environazi solution will be for the USFS to hire companies at prohibitive prices to go in there and clear-I know because they already do.


6 posted on 08/29/2011 4:15:28 PM PDT by tiki
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To: upchuck

There’s not an awful lot I admire about modern Europeans. But they are very good about managing their forests. I served in Germany in the 60s as a signal officer. Spent much time in German forests. Very little debris and undergrowth. Dead trees and vegetation are removed promptly. Some of it even finds its way into lumber yards because the trees have not had an opportunity to decay. My son lived in Switzerland for about five years. Very clean forests.

It is, after all, common sense. Remove the material that feeds forest fires and there won’t be forest fires. I’ve never understood why Americans have difficulty with that very simple concept. In recent years Envirowachos certainly have played their usual destructive part. But we ignored our forests long before they came along.


7 posted on 08/29/2011 4:18:45 PM PDT by dools0007world (uestion)
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To: SandRat

Hey, shovel ready jobs!
Then too the administration can sell the lumber
to china to cover our debt,
the chinese people get chopsticks,
the jobless get hired into a healthy enviroment
Obama gets the credit, everyone’s a winner.


8 posted on 08/29/2011 4:22:03 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: SandRat

Ilived in Germany in63 as a 6 year old and I recall how immaculate and “clean” their forests were.

Sounds like we are just now figuring it out


9 posted on 08/29/2011 4:24:13 PM PDT by winodog
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To: tet68

An un-managed forest is as dangerous a place to live near as an untamed river.


10 posted on 08/29/2011 4:25:40 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Proud to be a (little bit bigger) monthly donor.)
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To: dools0007world

Do they have millions of acres of forest in inacessable wilderness in Germany.


11 posted on 08/29/2011 4:28:19 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: Inyo-Mono

The other way to manage forestland to control fire... is to run fire through it about every other year or so.


12 posted on 08/29/2011 4:32:54 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Inyo-Mono

The other way to manage forestland to control fire... is to run fire through it about every other year or so.


13 posted on 08/29/2011 4:33:07 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: winodog

Ilived in Germany in63 as a 6 year old and I recall how immaculate and “clean” their forests were.

Sounds like we are just now figuring it out
+++++++++++++++
Is this really practical? There are millions of acres of forest in this country. I’m thinking that maybe Mother Nature can handle this problem better than we can.

BTW, didn’t they try this idea out in Yellowstone a few years back with less than stellar results.


14 posted on 08/29/2011 4:33:07 PM PDT by InterceptPoint (w)
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To: upchuck

Well hot dang! even a blind mouse finds a piece of cheese every now and then it seems!

I can’t believe these idiots are finally admitting this is what needs to be done! Will they appologize to Bush? naaa.


15 posted on 08/29/2011 4:34:41 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: SandRat
Or clear cutting works... All those forests in WA have been clear cut several times, with few wildfires... except where the enviros have stepped in and “accidentally” allowed their campfires to catch nearby brush, thereby driving local community's property values down, while instituting new regulation designed to sound good but forcing the locals out in order for said enviros to pick up the land for their own use cheap.
16 posted on 08/29/2011 4:40:35 PM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: tet68
. . . everyone’s a winner.

Even Cheryl Crow, who could now use 2 squares of toilet paper!

17 posted on 08/29/2011 4:41:22 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (minds change)
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To: InterceptPoint

Good point and I may be wrong, after all I was 6 years old. It just seems to me that we dont even manage the small acres correctly, and we are just coming around to a better management system


18 posted on 08/29/2011 4:44:35 PM PDT by winodog
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To: Inyo-Mono

Part of the reason it’s unaccessible here is that
enviros don’t want to see roads built to enable
it to be cleared.


19 posted on 08/29/2011 4:45:14 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: SandRat; SierraWasp
but for the first time in decades, environmentalists and

Which one of the 8,497 enviroMental organizations are they referring to???

20 posted on 08/29/2011 4:47:20 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: SandRat

Intense thinning, according to the report, is reducing stands to leave 50 to 100 trees per acre.

Remember folks an acre is not that big, consider
your house lot if it’s even an acre with 50 or
100 trees on it.


21 posted on 08/29/2011 4:50:09 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: SandRat

I live smack dab in the middle of a national forest. They (forest service) care more about Salmon than people. We have pine beetles bad here. They do nothing about that. Someday this place will burn as well if nothing is done about it.


22 posted on 08/29/2011 4:50:26 PM PDT by ColdOne (I miss my poochie... Tasha 2000~3/14/11)
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To: SandRat
They've known this for years. They've let stands grow together creating unending unnatural forests.

Time to put trails into these woods...aka...logging roads.

Forest fires kill. No reason folks can't live in a clearing. We need more hermits.

23 posted on 08/29/2011 4:51:56 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: tet68

50 to 100 trees is ridiculous....


24 posted on 08/29/2011 4:52:53 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: tubebender

They didn’t specify


25 posted on 08/29/2011 4:54:56 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

26 posted on 08/29/2011 4:59:11 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Democrats: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.")
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To: SandRat; Grampa Dave; nunya bidness; forester; SierraWasp
Lemme see... I seem to remember... ah yes, The Healthy Forest Initiative, a government program to THIN forests as an answer to the consequences of government management, that ended up FATtening lawyers instead, as predicted.

To: Grampa Dave; nunya bidness; forester; SierraWasp

If you really want to know, Dave, I find the whole thing very frustrating. I've spent years here on FR as a voice in the wilderness. A very few, such as yourself, paid attention. Then the crisis hits. The same old pundits everybody is used to reading come out of the woodwork, mouthing forestry terms like they know what they are talking about, prodding people to go right back to the very system that made this mess and demand that it fix itself!

As if the 10 million acres and $100 BILLION that the Healthy Forests Initiative will do a damned thing when faced with 190 million acres at risk oif catastrophic fire.

Consider how hard it has been to get people to the point of even considering that there MIGHT be a problem with government environmental management. Most of them think it can be fixed by changing managers even though they KNOW that it's a university brainwashed civil service bureaucrats in cahootz with crooked judges and an army of equally brainwashed NGO lawyers backed by the richest foundations in the country!

So, what do you think it's going to take to get our unconscious public past the next step? When told how and why it is in reality a structural problem, they start whining in futility because the problem is the system that gave them the goodies they wanted.

Then there's the next step after that one, and it's much harder.

When told what it's going to take to fix it, taking risks, study, hard work, and embracing accountability when faced with hard facts, they recoil in fear. That's just how it is. As I have traveled the country speaking to the people who should be begging to hear what I'm telling them, that they must take the leap to cut the legs out from under the system else they will lose EVERYTHING, it's always been the same.

They want somebody else to take the risk and make it easy for them.

Taking care of nature is hard work. It's expensive, but somebody HAS to do it unless we want watersheds running with mud, houses burning to ashes or falling down hills, and wildlands choked with poisonous weeds. If we want an economy with ANY industry left, if they want jobs at all, SOMEBODY is going to have to produce the raw material upon which industry must run and SOMEBODY must keep those in the resource extraction businesss honest. If we aren't going to have that job done by an unaccountable and out-of-control bureaucracy whose hands are tied by the very lawyers to whom its beholden, then SOMEBODY has to make a profit doing that work.

That's where my system comes in. Unfortunately Dave, I can't even get people pay attention long enough to understand the question, much less get them to master the answers. I'm not giving up, there is a plan I'll be working on this winter, but if I didn't love my land so much, I'd go crazy.

28 posted on 10/29/2003 2:10:19 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by politics.)

Deja vu all over again.

So, what did I do? Well, not only did I get my environmental management business method patent to give me standing in regulatory cases, ten years of arduous labor has produced the purest restored native plant habitat to be found in perhaps all of North America in order to develop the cred to go with it. I have been asked to publish the results of our project, the methods, and observations in academic journals with which to extend that cred to documented and peer reviewed expertise. It's cost me time and money no one here can appreciate, yet I can't do all this alone. Who is going to help get the word out?

27 posted on 08/29/2011 5:03:19 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
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To: upchuck
“intense thinning treatments” can ease future wildfires,

I wrote (essentially the same argument) back in 1967 for an in-house University (CAL) publication.

Common sense is timeless.

28 posted on 08/29/2011 5:05:27 PM PDT by Rudder (The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
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To: tet68
Remember folks an acre is not that big, consider your house lot if it’s even an acre with 50 or 100 trees on it.

Bonnicksen estimates pre-Columbian forest density in that region somewhere between 15-45 trees per acre. Sic:

The Policy: A Burning Desire, A Critique of the Sierra Club Public Lands Fire Management Policy (1999)

The Warning: Crisis on our National Forests Reducing the Threat of Catastrophic Wildfire [San Bernardino Fires]

An Example of the Consequences: The Winter Fire

29 posted on 08/29/2011 5:11:27 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
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To: SandRat

this is a no brainer....the reason that Yellowstone burned so heavily many years ago was that there was tons of underbrush and tree growth because of years of fire supression....


30 posted on 08/29/2011 5:19:28 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Carry_Okie

Any SERIOUS forestry degree holder knows that “Old Growth” forests are an anomaly. Forests either burn down, die of disease, are killed by bugs, or are harvested by loggers. Small stands of “Old Growth” are out there, but are statistically insignificant, and usually the result of human intervention or plain dumb luck.

Dittos for “Oak Savannah” in Oregon. The ONLY WAY YOU GET OAK SAVANNAH, is by setting fire to the valley floor and burning scrub brush. THAT IS WHAT THE NATIVE AMERICANS DID IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY IN OREGON! They wanted to increase grassland area for more big game. This is an archeological FACT.


31 posted on 08/29/2011 5:22:06 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: winodog

I just returned from Yosemite and they have a controlled burn program that has been ongoing since 1971. This seems to be focused on the roadside and populated areas which I assume is an attempt to minimize the damage caused by the “It’s OK to toss your cigarette out the car window” crowd. In addition they conduct controlled burns of those forest areas where the big redwoods grow.

But they still have forest fires in the Yosemite area including one just last week.


32 posted on 08/29/2011 5:22:22 PM PDT by InterceptPoint (w)
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To: SandRat

Amazing !! Accounts/diaries of early vistors to western forests -used to dense eatern mixed hardwood forest - were amazed at how “park-like” they were. (Hence “Park” figures in some many name locations they decreed. )

In the circumstances described fire served to clean up dead drop converting its nutrients in to ready fertilizer for new seedlings. Frequent burns meant any fire didn’t grow hot enough to bother healthy trees but killed the diseased.

Now the watermelons are laying claim to “inventing” a conservation method Dame Nature created a million+ years ago. >PS


33 posted on 08/29/2011 5:28:45 PM PDT by PiperShade
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To: SandRat

I dont know...well

If you want to know how to find the BSA of a woodlot you can do this.

Take a dime and hold it about 24 inches from your eye width way. Then count each tree that is as wide or wider than that dime. Times the total by 10 and that gives you the BSA of that area. BSA=Basil Square Feet per Area.
In some regions, the BSA should be 70, in others lower. Like AZ where it should be real low. In some forests (Hardwoods for example), If the BSA is over 70, then you need to cut some out to lower the BSA to about 70.
In the northern Hardwood Forest, depending on the hardwood class, I like to see it at 60 for a class ‘A’ stand-that is a stand with mixed mature/young trees. In a young stand, 70. This is something I have argued about with foresters for years now..especially now since the youngsters think they know it all since they have learned it out of a book.

You need to do several plots around the lot and average it out to find the Average BSA. Take plots on thick areas and plots on thin.

I got 45 years in the business and have worked in AZ for a year near Flag doing those cuts. One was next to the Fairgrounds..Fort, or whatever they called it-I cant remember the name-The Lake Mary Road we did another. Worked up in the Bradshaws near Prescott by the YMCA camp also-the Old Senate road I think they called it.

Some timber types require clear cut- Most Aspen and many softwoods. Oak does best with a darn good cut.

Its all in the experience a person has.


34 posted on 08/29/2011 5:35:33 PM PDT by crz
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To: InterceptPoint

BTW, didn’t they try this idea out in Yellowstone a few years back with less than stellar results.

I don’t think so. The entire expanse of the East Entrance to Yellowstone park has been destroyed by bark beetle infestation. The West side in 88 was destroyed by massive fire.

The Forest Service/Park Service plan is no touchy. Very few logs were removed from the fire area, and just looking at it back in 88 the amount of wood consumed/ruined, could have built a log home for a huge amount of people, but our wood was allowed to go up in smoke, and then rot. Not much has changed since except to add wolves to the mix. Frankly, the park should be intensely logged, hunted, snowmobiled, mined for minerals, belonging to the state of Wyoming, touristed, and people ought to be able to feed chipmunks appropriate food. Feed bears at your own risk.


35 posted on 08/29/2011 5:37:58 PM PDT by wita
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To: Tailback

Get someone the define “OLD GROWTH”. When they go on and on I always ask if Old Growth would be over 5 thousand years old. They will say, Yup. Then I say go to see the Bristlecone pines. The ugliest trees you ever saw.


36 posted on 08/29/2011 5:39:39 PM PDT by crz
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To: crz

“Then count each tree that is as wide or wider than that dime.”

Do you look in all directions or choose just the area in front of you to do this?


37 posted on 08/29/2011 5:52:07 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: ModelBreaker

360 degrees to point of beginning.


38 posted on 08/29/2011 5:53:49 PM PDT by crz
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To: InterceptPoint
Is this really practical? There are millions of acres of forest in this country. I’m thinking that maybe Mother Nature can handle this problem better than we can. BTW, didn’t they try this idea out in Yellowstone a few years back with less than stellar results.

It used to be the standard. Since the feds gutted American logging, no one is keeping up the roads, and there is no heavy equipment in place (all that was provided by the logging community because of timber sales, which community is now nearly non-existent). So now, there is no choice but to let 250,000 acres a year (avg just here where I live over the last decade or so), instead of turning it all into useable lumber. And since no one is logging out beetle killed patches, the beetles are now having there way with it all.

What the feds did here in the Rockies was criminal. The saw mills are all gone, and with them went the logging trucks, the skidders and cats, and all the really good paying logging jobs... not to mention the logistics necessary for fighting fires.

39 posted on 08/29/2011 6:02:35 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: SandRat

for the first time in decades, environmentalists and government officials agree on a key element of future forest management.

I’ll believe this when hell freezes over.


40 posted on 08/29/2011 6:03:59 PM PDT by wita
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To: ModelBreaker

So you might want to mark the tree where you start or remember that tree where you start. Then all the way round until you reach that tree.

Now, there is a debate on the trees that are as wide, or just as wide as the dime. I generally count them all. Some leave out every third tree and do not count them. Count them all. If there is that many, those wont matter anyway.

Another rule..what does the landowner want? Does he want cover/browse for wildlife? If so, then the thinning should be heavier-like a BSA of 50 or so. This is for hardwood woods-like maple etc. Oak wants a heavy cut as they regenerate with near full sunlight. I always like to see Oak logged and pole skidded. That simulates burn and works the ground up. We got problems up here now because they have skidded with forward skidders for years because they didnt want the ground disturbed. Now the fescue grass has taken over and prevents regeneration in a lot of places. That and the dam deer eat the seedlings off as fast as they come up.


41 posted on 08/29/2011 6:04:35 PM PDT by crz
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To: Rudder
Common sense is timeless.

Amen! Problem is there's a severe shortage these days.

42 posted on 08/29/2011 6:05:07 PM PDT by upchuck (Rerun: Think you know hardship? Wait till the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency.)
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To: InterceptPoint
Is this really practical? There are millions of acres of forest in this country. I’m thinking that maybe Mother Nature can handle this problem better than we can. BTW, didn’t they try this idea out in Yellowstone a few years back with less than stellar results.

Ask yourself this: Who is better qualified to manage our national forests? The federal government? Or the timber industry?

Which one has a vested interest in their health?

Who is better qualified to manage our cultivable land? The federal government or farmers?

Which one has a vested interest in their health?

It goes on. And on. And on.

43 posted on 08/29/2011 6:14:08 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: crz

Thanks. My family has property at about 10,500 feet in Colorado. Lodgepoles, bristlecones and silver barked pines. Of course a lot of Aspen.

The National Forest Service land above us looks scary populated with trees. If I were going to thin up there (and of course I would never do that), I would not know how to start because none of the trees would fall over when cut they are so tightly packed.

The pine beetles found us a few years ago, although they haven’t wiped us out the way they have across the hill in Breckenridge.


44 posted on 08/29/2011 6:22:07 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Tailback
Any SERIOUS forestry degree holder knows that “Old Growth” forests are an anomaly.

They are worth learning from.

... This is an archeological FACT.

Excuse me, but are you yelling at me thinking I need to learn somehow that at the time of Columbus the vegetative distribution of nearly the entire continent was an anthropogenic artifact? After having published two books on environmental policy and studied native plant habitat restoration for twenty years, do you really think I'm that dense?

Re that "oak savannah," did you know aboriginals used to prune those oak trees to give them a better shape for climbing and end weight reduction for better acorn production? Sheesh.

45 posted on 08/29/2011 6:30:10 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
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To: SandRat

There is NOTHING worse for the environment, than Environmentalists enforcing their cultist envirodogma on it.


46 posted on 08/29/2011 6:38:31 PM PDT by rottndog (Be Prepared for what's coming AFTER America....)
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To: SierraWasp

Thanks for the ping SW!

Something you and I knew long ago!


47 posted on 08/29/2011 7:24:24 PM PDT by Randy Larsen (I Stand With Sarah!)
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To: Carry_Okie

Forgive me for my ignorance of your work. If I had seen it, I too would have joined your voice.

I live in Foresthill, Ca. surrounded on all sides by forests and on the east side by Tahoe national forest.

Every year we live in fear of forest fires during the summer months.

I’ve seen first hand what the fuelwood projects can accomplish and would love to see our hard working youth(Yes, they do exist)who know how to do the work and need the jobs.


48 posted on 08/29/2011 7:40:04 PM PDT by Randy Larsen (I Stand With Sarah!)
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To: SandRat

Great!

When do we start?

The Stanislaus NF needs thinning badly, along with some road maintenance to improve access for heavy equipment.


49 posted on 08/29/2011 7:47:36 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Sarah Palin - 2012 !)
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To: StarCMC; Kathy in Alaska; Bethbg79; EsmeraldaA; MoJo2001; Brad's Gramma; laurenmarlowe; ...

50 posted on 08/29/2011 7:49:22 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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