Colorado: Loggers don’t like it when biologists prove unthinned forest are better

I find it remarkable that loggers & mainstream environmentalists too
often argue that thinning / mechanical intervention in the growth of a
forest is the only thing that will save / allow a forest to grow. It’s
too often assumed that leaving the forest alone is the same as
destroying it. But didn’t forest grow on it’s own for million of years
before humans came along? And of course some Bible worshipers say that
god made all this just mere thousands of years ago and there never was
a time when humans didn’t exist in the universe / forests. So maybe
the bible and it’s anti-evolution followers are why loggers are so
adamant about intervening in the natural regeneration of the forest?
–Editor, Forest Policy Research

Timber Industry Association announced it will appeal the USFS’s Lynx
plan. The timber group is particularly concerned by the proposed
widespread restrictions on thinning young stands of dense lodgepole

Limiting thinning could lead to another cycle of pine-beetle
infestation, disease and fire years hence, said association president
Carl Spaulding. The plan also has been appealed by conservation
groups, which charge that new rules won’t adequately protect lynx. The
young trees are an important food source for snowshoe hares, which, in
turn, is the primary prey of the threatened cats. The lynx-protection
plan includes limits on thinning young lodgepole to protect that food
source. “How many acres do you need to grow bunny rabbits?” Spaulding
said. The ban on thinning will hinder the agency from managing
lodgepole forests effectively, he said, adding that the Forest Service
may simply be trying to save money by avoiding thinning. “This rule
precludes them from doing any thinning.

Let’s manage what we can
physically and economically,” he said. “Thinning those dense stands is
a critical step in … avoiding the forest conditions that have
contributed to the current mountain pine beetle epidemic.” He
suggested that the agency didn’t consider alternatives to allow for
thinning of forests. The plan already has been tweaked to give rangers
more flexibility in dealing with forest-health issues like pine
beetles, said biologist Nancy Warren, one of the plan’s main authors.
The agency has been working on a regional lynx-protection plan for
eight years. The proposed forest plan amendment would be applied to
about 14.6 million acres in all national forests in the Rocky Mountain
region where lynx live. The proposed plan also would limit
clear-cutting to protect habitat for lynx. The key goal of the plan is
to balance timber management with the need to protect that habitat.
Thinning of young lodgepoles would be delayed until the lower branches
are out of reach of snowshoe hares, which depend on the green branches
for winter food, Warren said. There are also exceptions for projects
aimed at reducing the wildfire danger near homes, said Warren.

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