Industrial Forestry is not Sustainable or Sensible

First, it’s past time we see that there is NOTHING sustainable about Industrial forestry – not environmentally, economically or socially. Let me elaborate with comments and questions.

Industrial forestry management is predicated upon the totally mistaken premise – we can ‘improve’ Nature. We can’t! We can only live in harmony with all her evolutionary, symbiotic, and interconnected wisdom.

Clear cutting a forest is nothing short of the modern version of killing the Buffalo for it’s tongue. Same consequences of genocide for animals and humans alike. Very short boom and a protracted bust every time. In ‘educated’ arrogance they call it ‘restoring Nature’ without an inkling of their complicity of cause. All reinforced by ‘privilege’ and pay.

“Ignorance ain’t about what you don’t know, but about what you know that ain’t so. Will Rodgers.

So where in your HCP do you account for all the costs and liabilities of:

Increasing wildfires where clear cutting/Industrial forestry is the MAJOR cause of extreme wildfires. Research by Morris and Countryman 80 years ago reveals how conversion and clear cutting increase fire in multi ways. Countryman recorded a 66 degree difference ( 87– 153) in a clear cut on the ground verses in a forest throughout. Another study by Howard showed in one year (1965) in California, Oregon and Washington the ‘residue’ from logging was the equilvant of more than 7 million cords of wood. Yet, perhaps the most damaging of all is the wind. With a forest, the wind generally flows over the top. In a clear cut it will fan any flames with abandon.
No focus on Jobs and Communities which have been undermined radically. Lane country in the 80’s was 71% forest/Wood products based. Today I believe the number is around 5% give or take.

How can it be that in the heart of the MOST PRODUCTIVE softwood forests in the world, we can’t create or maintain a steady, vibrant and solid workforce that supports families and communities? Please show me where I’m wrong here, if you know of examples? Remember, I worked in a small re-saw mill in 1967 with my grandfather, so I know first hand what it was like.

Your mandate of greatest permanent value is great in theory, but your examples and direction manifest the opposite – shortest permanent value as all the externalities and unintended consequences reveal in spades – increased wildfire, erosion, chemicals, endangered species and worthless wood fiber into dangerous products – OSB board, TJI’s joists and CLT’s all have liabilities.

So where is the positive side to Industrial forestry besides the rich owners? The vast majority of ‘restoration’ need is created by Industrial management. When do you connect the dots?

Some of you must be able to see outside of ODF’s ‘group think’ and see the forest for the trees.

Create a model of truly sustainable forestry that focuses on job creation, healthy communities and SLOW forestry with reverence for all the parts. Allowing Nature to replant just by maintaining a healthy forest at all times. She provides all of the eco-system services for FREE, without the need for ‘restoration’ – IF – were doing it right. Industrial forestry has everything wrong and the jury is in, if we care to look.

Decentralized, human based with ‘appropriate technology’ focusing on single tree utilization using everything, no waste. Focusing on value-added opportunities in a continuous web of inter-connected businesses. It is possible if we care for our children’s future. It’s really that simple.

Last, I would like you to address this question: When clear cutting a forest – how many ‘tree years’ of future generations growing stock do you destroy as part of your harvest? Or what is the ‘tree years of growth’ associated with ‘residue’ after harvest. Comparing forests not plantations.

Craig Patterson