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#199155 - 03/28/10 11:51 PM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: hikermor]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Art, thanks. You provide a very eloquent statement for the preservation of natural wildlands. But one question - At least at a distance, don't these tree farms look fairly nice?


From 20,000 feet they look quite nice. As I understand it, they are also quite profitable. Even more so that they might get you carbon credits in the near future.

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#199160 - 03/29/10 01:52 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Art_in_FL]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
...snip...
I keep this in mind when I read the tracts from the forestry people that tel me 'there are more trees planted now than some earlier time'. The number of trees doesn't count for much if the majority are planted in genetically identical rows, managed and mowed like grass.

...snip...


This IS true about tree farms, but have you ever looked at say, photos of the Catskill Mountains of NY, or say The Grass Valley area of CA from say 1870 or so?

NO TREES. The ONLY virgin forest in the Catskills (at least according to the book I have) is on the back side of Cornell Mtn. You want to know why? It was all used for tanning/brickmaking, except for that area, because they could NOT economically get there

Walk through the woods in almost all of New England, and you'll know what you'll find? Stone walls. Folks, those walls were NOT built in the middle of the woods, they were in the middle of fields - FARMS, which have all reverted to forest. No, not tree farms, but just farms that were abandoned in the late 1800, early 1900s, and which have, over time, regrown.

When it comes to trees/forest, we are a LOT better off than we were back in that era, simply because we've abandonded a lot of subsistance farms, and let them regrow.

BTW, did you know, there were states on the east coast where the whitetail deer was extinct? Heck, My father could remember a time where a group of 20-30 experienced hunters would go out, all day, every day of the season, and sometimes they would go YEARS without seeing a deer. Today? Most hunters are unhappy if they don't take a deer a year. Much of this was the same problem - no woods, combined with both market hunting (now ileagal almost everywhere) and the fact that families in the depression just didn't care - yeah, they poached deer, better than staving (I know a family friend (hunting buddy) admits his grandfather did it.)
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#199164 - 03/29/10 02:48 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL

It was also quite disorienting. It was one of the few places I've needed to use a compass. I stopped for a mid-day snack and when I looked up I wasn't sure which way was north. It was overcast and I couldn't see enough of the sky to use other clues. It reminded me of a Sci-Fi movie where the jail was a vast plane of white nothingness. This was a seemingly endless plane of identical trees. A cynical parody of forest.

I keep this in mind when I read the tracts from the forestry people that tel me 'there are more trees planted now than some earlier time'. The number of trees doesn't count for much if the majority are planted in genetically identical rows, managed and mowed like grass.
Clearly not all woods are created equal.


You are correct on many points Art.

Here are examples of second growth forests that are managed properly and those forests that are not.

This first photo was taken last weekend on a hike and as you can see it looks healthy and the trees are evenly spaced and easy to walk though.


The second photo, again taken last weekend on the same day and only a couple of miles away from the above photo. This mismanaged forest was a hellhole to walk and navigate through. There was supposedly a trail down there somewhere that we were to follow, but can you see it? To navigate through this, compass skills are a must. The trees are so crowded that daylight barely gets through and will never grow large enough to make suitable timber.


This third photo taken while out hiking yesterday shows another well managed and healthy second growth forest that is undergoing active work. This particular forest is about 30 miles away from the above forests.
.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#199165 - 03/29/10 03:37 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Nomad Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 457
Loc: Just wandering around.
We have found a place that is surrounded by mostly untouched land. For literally a hundred or more miles in most directions, there is nothing but sparse (11 people per square mile) or no population at all.

Why Arizona is just a place where two roads meet. To the east for a 3 hour drive is an Indian reservation. South for 30 miles a reservation or wilderness area or National Park to the border. South of the border are a very few small towns, but mostly vast empty spaces. To the west is a wilderness area, north west from here to Yuma is a military training area which is mostly unused. North for 60 miles is military and then only the small town of Ghila Bend.

We do archeology. Yesterday the military was not flying so we were able to enter the live fire range and travel to some areas that seldom have visitors. An hour and a half drive on "two track" sand roads west through the desert to a really wonderful spot. It will remain off limits for the foreseeable future. It is a buffer area around the impact area. Actually the impact area is quite small and most of the training is done electronically. Most of the vast area is not used and is one of the most pristine desert areas in the country.

Living here is not without its problems. I had a medical emergency recently. My drug levels went crazy and I began serious bleeding. We started the three and on half hour drive to the Tucson VA hospital. When things began getting worse, we diverted north to Casa Grande which is 45 minutes closer. It was a scary ride.

We have a community well for water. No sewage on-site. Our power comes from solar. The nearest wal-mart is two and a half hours away. The nearest city, Tucson, is three and a half.

People think we are crazy to live here. We think it is wonderful. There are still places like this around. You just have to find them and then be willing to take the risk/benefit ratio.

Nomad.
_________________________
...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

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#199167 - 03/29/10 03:51 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: KG2V]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: KG2V

When it comes to trees/forest, we are a LOT better off than we were back in that era, simply because we've abandonded a lot of subsistance farms, and let them regrow.

Indeed. From memory, the low point of forested acreage in the US was around 1900. Forest acreage has been expanding in the US for a long time.

And there are *far* *too* *many* deer. The problems caused by initially planting only one species of tree are minor compared to the damage too many deer cause over time. People don't like having Mountain Lions around so hunters are all we have to control the deer population, and the deer are winning.

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#199170 - 03/29/10 04:29 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Art_in_FL]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL

The down side is that a tree farm, particularly a pulpwood farm, is a dismal place.

Disease tolerance is another problem. Farmers learned a long time ago about the value of crop variation & rotation. The Chestnut Blight ought to be a cautionary tale...

Quote:

I keep this in mind when I read the tracts from the forestry people that tel me 'there are more trees planted now than some earlier time'.

A few hundred square miles of pulp forest is a drop in the bucket compared to the size of the US.

I have some land at my weekend cabin that I maintain as Wildlife Habitat for tax reasons. I have the Forest Service out regularly to inspect and plan activities as part of that program. In general conversations the only things truly harmful things they've complained about that stand out to me are the lack of natural wildfires, the severe overabundance of deer, and some specific tree diseases.

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#199174 - 03/29/10 10:58 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1145
Loc: Land O' Lakes & Rivers - MN, U...
Originally Posted By: James_Van_Artsdalen
I have the Forest Service out regularly to inspect and plan activities as part of that program. In general conversations the only things truly harmful things they've complained about that stand out to me are the lack of natural wildfires, the severe overabundance of deer, and some specific tree diseases.



My friends and I are working hard to reduce the overpopulation of deer, as well as the surplus of beans, onions, peppers, and tomatoes by converting them all into copious amounts of venison chili. I'm pretty sure that heaven is about the same as it is here in the fall but with a longer deer season, and a bigger bag limit.
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#199176 - 03/29/10 11:17 AM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5998
Loc: southern Cal
Byrd Hunter, I just want to be the first to thank you for your valiant work on behalf of the planet. You are truly a saint.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#199180 - 03/29/10 01:21 PM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: LED]
Compugeek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: LED
Couldn't most of the problem be solved by switching to hemp as a paper source?


Where do we grow the hemp to replace that much wood? A forest of trees would yield a lot more pulp per square foot than a field of hemp.

So do we replace the paper forests with hemp fields, and then plant additional fields to make up the volume?

Or do we dedicate food farming land to hemp? And with the continuing population growth, how long could we afford to do that?

None of these questions have simple, clear cut answers. [Pun intended.]

(PS: I know hemp and marijuana are not the same thing, and am in favor of more usage of hemp. I just don't think it's a valid answer to this particular problem.)
_________________________
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

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#199191 - 03/29/10 03:44 PM Re: Too civilized for our own good? [Re: Compugeek]
EchoingLaugh Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 155
Loc: MO, On the Mississippi
my .o2 cents

One of the things that I see is the mismanagement of trees in town. Apparently trees are a nuisance, and need to be topped to not interfere with electrical lines. For the past two years the city keeps coming out and "trimming" back the same silver maple in my front yard. By "trimming" I mean cutting out a neat square corner out of the top 1/2 of the tree. Apparently it is too much effort to prune it back. All over my hometown there are "topped" trees courtesy of the city. At the house I grew up in, there was a silver maple that was easily over 150 years old that fell victim to "progress" and was turned into sawdust. The city decided that the tree was in the way of the telephone post. I can keep going but I digress. I find it appalling that trees are regarded this way, especially when a little more effort will yield a healthy tree.

*climbs down off the soapbox*

I feel restored by nature. Removing myself from civilization, restores my humanity. I can get perspective on my place in the order of things. Out in the wild, I feel more at ease, and can meet challenges on equal footing, not just temerity. I understand the how and why of the little dramas that unfold, and I enjoy being able to relax the guards or screens necessary to deal with seething masses of humanity, and allow a more natural mindset to emerge. I enjoy the solace of a solo journey, or the shared camaraderie of those close to me.
_________________________
Jim
Do you know where your towel is?
Don't Panic!
I have an extra.

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