Logging on public land

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lizza, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi,

    The mountain accross from me, that I stare at all day, is being logged. I posted about my neighbor logging a few months ago and, goodness, that was nothing compared to the huge operation of logging an entire mountain side. They even put in a giant road.

    I was told when we first moved here that the neighbors took their horses on trails over there because it was public land. My question is that since it is "public land" (I'm guessing BLM land??) do they have to replant? There is a lot of development going on right now around me. I just read an article that they are trying to turn 245 acres, about 5-6 miles from me, into 800 homes and 300 apartments. We already have 300 new homes going in right now within a 10 mile radius. They can't sell out to developers can they? I don't know if the laws are different state to state or not but we do have pretty strict forest zoning laws in Oregon against development on impacted forest. I wasn't sure if that's changed since they've logged now or not.

    Anyone have public land logged around them before?
     
  2. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    BLM and National Forest lands are managed, as they should be, for natural resources commonly including timber cutting (also mining and private livestock grazing) in many areas with the proper sort of regeneration (maybe tree seedling planting, seeding or natural regeneration) of a cutover area being planned before the cutting is done. Some areas of these public lands are designated as wilderness and/or roadless and road building/timber cutting/mining is not planned to ever be done in those areas. In the timber management areas of the federal lands trees are considered to be among other things, a crop, but a crop that might take from 40 to 400 years to mature.

    Caution should be exercised by us, the owners of this timber on public lands, to ensure that timber sales of our timber are good money makers for us, the owners, and not as often has been the case a giveaway to favored corporate interests. Same with mineral resources and grazing, should be positive money makers for us the owners. As well, we should insists that timber cutting not exceed the levels of 'sustainable harvests'.

    The current administration in Washington has proposed selling signifigant tracts of BLM and U.S. Forest Service property to developers but that plan has pretty well already been killed by those who desire to save every acre that is currently owned by us and hopefully continue to acquire thru purchase additonal wild lands for public ownership.

    BTW, I live right in the middle of the scattered lands of Pisgah National Forest, have seen closeup many logging operations and the regrowth for decades and generally approve of them if in the appropriate location and thats not everwhere..
     

  3. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of public land being logged before. The state "professionals" want the trees logged before disease or insects "kill" them off. I think the real case is the state getting all kinds of offers from logging companies and they take a look and see that they can get thousands of dollars for them.

    As for public land being sold - yes that happens too. There was just a thread on it a couple days ago.
     
  4. sbeerman

    sbeerman Well-Known Member

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    I bet it not BLM land,only because they don't clear cut. You could drive down to the bottom of the road and there will be a sign posted. Take a look at the name of the, it will have the name of the project, then you can look it up.
    No matter who it is they have to replant.
    Might be forest service land? (I guess it's called ODF-Oregon Department of Forestry)
    I know it look ugly for now but it like your garden after frost will look better in time...It will just take longer LOL
    Let us know if you find the name.
    Sandie OR. 5/6
     
  5. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I live right in the middle of the state forest land in NY state. The areas around us have been logged at various times. When we first moved here we had a bad tornado that wiped out acres of standing red pine. They were logged by the logging companies, who had to bid for it. They also sold logs to private individuals which was $10. a full cord. Dh applied for that and got wood right across the road. They would mark the trees he could take.

    They do make a terrible mess while they are doing it. And really disturb our peace & quiet! What we have seen is that once the area is logged, and left alone, it starts it's regrowth. We saw wild berries and small trees coming in, now after a few years, the trees are coming up pretty nice.

    In our own woods, where we have cut wood in the past 8 years, it has opened our woods up more (it was way too crowded with trees, so some trees were standing there dead because they were smaller than the others) to now having grass, and wild blueberries and wild plants. Now it looks like a park!

    katlupe
     
  6. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I can only speak from my own experience....when they logged the national forest near us - someone came in after the logging and made the roads impassable and planted grass (meadow) type seed where the roads had been. They did not need to reseed for trees because the place was already covered with seed (pines). Perhaps if the trees being logged are hardwoods they would have to plant seedlings but not for pine.
     
  7. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Generally, hardwoods are more apt than conifers to successfully reseed (or regenerate from stump sprouts) themselves after logging.

    Tree seedling planting is often conducted when it is desired to convert the area to a different type of trees.
     
  8. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Here in Bankhead Natl Forest they were getting carried away logging and some folks took them to court over it to try and stop it. The USDA and NFSsaid they needed the monies to maintain the forest etc but problem was it was proven that they were selling the trees AT A LOSS. Someones pocket was obviously getting lined. Yes they do plant tens of thousands of pine saplings here. But they sure dont look as good as old growth pines etc that are over 100 years old that are now mostly gone. Once where diverse forest existed we have pine plantations and not even the native pines a hybrid that grows fast so they can come rape the land again in about fiteen years.
     
  9. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Within the framework of the current economic system we live in, private market entities can see no 'discounted to current' profit from the future value of investments now in tree planting or wise timberland management where there is to be no income from said investment for maybe 40 or 400 years.

    Some places, some types of tree planting might yield returns within only 15 years, but such are the exception.

    Therefore, public ownership of large forested areas managed for timber (also yielding many other benefits like watershed protection and wildlife habitat) seems quite appropriate as well as an active program of acquisition by purchase on a willing seller/willing buyer/fair market value basis of additional forest lands for public management.

    Private forest lands in the U.S. are being increasingly subdivided, developed and further fragmented.
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    BLM land as well as any type of National Forest land, can and may be logged. Yes, they can be clearcut. Most logging operations clearcut. No, they don't have to replant. Sometimes clearcutting is done just before an area is strip-mined. Most of the time the timber is sold at a huge loss, and the taxpayers foot the bill for the roads and any replanting that may or may not be completed according to the contracts. There are outdated laws regarding payments for harvesting of anything taken by big corporations. The amount the corporation pays to the gvt for the use of PUBLIC lands was set back in teh 70's and no provisions were made for periodic land use fee increases. All land use fee increases have to pass through several levels of bureaucratic red tape and seldom survive the effort.
     
  11. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much for the education everybody. I really didn't know much about BLM or Forest Service Land. I can't find the end of the road because the trucks are going up the hill, not down, and there must be a road enterance somewhere else on the other side of the mountain.

    You can get firewood permits to go in after logging here and I may try to call up the forest service to ask about the logging and possibly getting a firewood permit for when they are done. Hopefully they will have some information about how long they will be logging and if they are replanting too. I will keep you updated if I found out anything.
     
  12. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    I wish they would log Idaho again and get the forests back into good health. Then we wouldn't have to spend 4 months of every summer with 1/2 mile visibility and breath smoke from the huge fires. Either they log it right, or it burns. Their choice.

    A guy told me that 30 years ago in the little town down river, there used to be daily traffic jams from all the log trucks. The mountains around there look just fine. Cut some trees, more will grow.
     
  13. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, the recent widespread fires are not so much a result of an insufficient level of logging, for there has been a high level of logging in the National Forests the last 10 years,

    but rather the widespread fires have resulted from a century of fire suppression efforts which allowed fuels (dead limbs, trunks and leaf/needle litter which was previously naturally minimized by occasional small fires) to buildup on the forest floors. As well, the timber stands are often choked with to many large and small trees per acre which the occasional small fires tended to control. Plus, the West has been in a drought for about 20 years now compared with the previous 50 years or so.

    Note - No logging occurred in the roadless areas the last 10 years but neither did logging occur in the roadless areas prior to the last 10 years. Thats why those areas are roadless. In most cases, the timber in the roadless areas is not of sufficient value to justify the expense of road building and logging.

    'Smoky da Bear' did his job to well.
     
  14. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    The forests were healthy prior to the era of logging due more than anything to occasional wildfires.

    I might suggest the log truck jams that Ed Norman referred to being 30 years ago in Idaho were largely logs from private lands there.

    Individual private owners may well take good care of their timber lands

    but corporate private timber land owners have only one motivation, make the most shortterm profit possible, in other words, buy the timberland, cut the trees completely, then dump the land back on the real estate market.
     
  15. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree. We just went through weeks of smoky days from forest fires. We also have an area near here where all the lodge pole pine is dead from beetle infestation.

    When I drive around the mountains in this area, I don't see why all the fuss over logging. There are so many trees I think by the time they cut them all down, there would be more to take their place.

    By the way, the same people who cause your gas prices to be so high are the same ones who oppose logging.

    What part of Idaho are you in Ed?
     
  16. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    And I would suggest you are wrong. That county is 92% public land. the remaining 8% is almost all farm or pasture or residential. I know of 1000 acres of deeded forest ground personally, and the rest is national forest or BLM. If you're looking at timber, you can bet it is public land.
     
  17. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    OK, that part of Idaho is almost all public land but still the levels of logging in roaded areas of the national forests have been kept relatively high the last 10 years.

    Here's a link about the Emergency Timber Salvage Program of 1994 (a good example of unproductive socialism in action for the political and financial gain of a few):

    http://home.att.net/~cgbraggjr/v19n6.htm#myths

    "Myths And Facts About The Emergency Salvage Timber Sale Program
    Below Cost Sales, Suspension of Major Environmental Laws and Sweetheart Deals Mark True Nature of Salvage Sale Program
    Myth: A forest health crisis exists in our federal forests.

    Fact: Supporters of the Emergency Salvage Timber Sale Program, known as the "Logging Without Laws" rider, claim that western forests are very susceptible to wildfire and insect infestation. Some important facts are conveniently glossed over by claiming that this constitutes a forest health crisis.

    While there is a wide spectrum of views on how to define and achieve a healthy forest, it is generally agreed that conditions are site specific and can vary greatly even in one forest. The Logging Without Laws rider attempts to address these widely varying conditions with one national law. Local Forest Service managers should be able to tailor this law to their own requirements, but the rider mandates that salvage be conducted "to the maximum extent feasible...above the programmed level." This forces forest managers to achieve a certain sale volume of timber as a gauge of forest health. This extreme output level, set at about 4.5 billion board feet nationwide for the public forests across the country, is about three times the Forest Service's programmed level. The "salvage" rider serves only the economic purpose of selling public forests to the timber industry (usually at subsidized prices), while neglecting to address legitimate forest health concerns.

    Additionally, fire is part of the natural cycle of a forest (ed. note: see the imprint for January, 1994: "The Calabasas/Malibu Fires: A Self-Fulfilling Policy?"). Some places in our national forests contain unnaturally high levels of fire fuel because of the government's past policy of suppressing fires, which periodically reduce fire fuel levels. Although the industry and the agencies acknowledge their role in creating these current forest problems their solution, not surprisingly, is more logging. They refuse to acknowledge the negative impacts of building roads, entering roadless areas, and removing biomass on forest health and forest dependent species. They ignore biologists' pleas to retain dead and downed trees to provide crucial habitat for a wide range of forest dependent species while returning nutrients to the soil."
     
  18. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Well, we can't find a more neutral organization than the Santa Monica Bay
    Audubon Society. They have in mind the best plans for Idaho, I'm sure.

    Saying these programs benefit just a few is true. Not many people are left in logging, so the ones that are, reap the rewards. I don't see a problem there.
     
  19. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Its a very complex issue and even though I've spent quite a bit of time in Idaho, it was over 20 years ago.

    I think the pulp industry has largely left the west and north for the southeast.

    The private timber lands of western Washington and Oregon as well as the Crown lands of Western Canada have pretty well kept the market satuarated with large sawtimber.

    So the remote valleys and ridges of Idaho, with its lower rainfall and smaller douglas firs and ponderosa pines has been left with less demand and so loggers must almost be paid by the federal government to take trees from the roaded areas there.

    I see all public timber in the 'land managed for timber' areas as money in the bank. Lets leave the money there until it can be exchanged at a fair rate (until demand is such that the public timber can be sold at a good profit).

    Better to institute an effective program of controlled burning to maintain forest health than to lose money paying someone to thin the forests for it would costs a lot less, some risks though.
     
  20. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    some folks argue that logging needs to be done for fire prevention some folks argue that forests need to be left alone for the same reason. the former says that logging gets rid of small fuels like brush and dead wood while the latter says that maintaining a mature canopy keeps the ground moist. if the canopy is cut and the fuels on the ground dry out, they become tinder for fire. sounds like a toss up. of course, for the sake of revenue, this toss up will be decided in favor of logging.

    i have springs on the property fed from a flat area way on top of the ridge that was normally swampy. they clearcut the entire top of that ridge and two years ago, and for the first time in my life, the big spring nearly dried completely in the drought. i think i would only support selective cutting of public lands.

    i have a select cut on-going as we speak. i decided not to sell the spruce and pine because the price is terribly low. i could have gotten 7-9 cents per board foot...get real! that make a mature tree worth about $30. the logger told me he can buy pine from the state for 4 cents per board foot. what business does the state of PA have selling OUR trees for 4 cents per board foot. it floods the market and lowers the value of privately owned lumber. it also encourages clear-cutting. i am a bit sick of PA tree farming the entire state. i would like to see at least a few tracts of mature forest, deadfall trees and all. when the forest is cut on a regular basis, it loses it's diversity. when i hunt in maryland, in areas 10-15 miles away, the forests look totally different. they look like forests and not tree farms.

    the wording of the law granting authority to the PA DNR (or whatever) grants one person huge amounts of power to decide what to do with "his" land. it is not his land but it is our land. sure we need logging but we need forests as well.

    mike smith...get on the PA.gov site and try to find the laws granting power to the dnr. i read them once and was surprised how little input the public has on forestry policy. it is sad really.