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Re: [pct-l] Clearcuts

To the list:  This is a response to a thread that is appropriate to the PCT,
however, it goes a little into more general environmental issues and choices
than you may personally be interested in.  Trash as you deem appropriate.


I have enjoyed your point of view on many topics but must respectfully
disagree with your attempts to defend clearcutting.

If, as you say, clearcutting is done for reasons of biology as much as
economic, then why have the count of so many species endemic to the forest
dropped so dramatically in clearcut areas?  I can't believe that
clearcutting is actually better for the forest than fire as you seem to

>As you mentioned, clear cuts and fire cleared areas provide habitat for
>large mammals such as deer and elk. The open spaces allows needed
>to grow that is critical to their diet. These plants don't grow in the
>forest. After the great Tillamook fire early in the century. The numbers of
>deer and elk increased dramatically due to the increase in forage.

Have the numbers of deer and elk increased dramatically in heavily clearcut
areas?  You also seem to suggest this but is this in fact the case?

>However, these forest roads consucted
>for logging are our primay means of access to the mountains. Without them
>most of us would have a long way to hike before we're able to get into some
>of these pristine hiking areas. So if you don't like forest roads, next
>you go for a hike in the moutains, start walking from home.

No thanks, I think that I will just use the existing highways to get near to
the forests and then walk in.  I don't see the need for the existing or more
access roads.  In fact, I with Clinton on this one.  Let's call a moratorium
and start abandoning and restoring towards the original character of the
land.  If there is one thing that hiking the PCT taught me, it is that I can
walk just about anywhere.  You are making this pitch to the wrong crowd.

Have we learned nothing in 3,000 years of "forest management" (what a great
oxymoron)?  The history of civilization's treatment of forests is atrocious
and continues today.  Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Greece, Crete, Italy, Yugoslavia
(and numerous other countries around the world, but I will stick to just
these countries that happen to have well documented histories) once were
thickly covered with forests.  They were repeatedly harvested over the last
approximately 3,000 years with some even nearly completely rejuvenating
in-between harvests (such as Crete that was nearly completely harvested
three times before the soil was completely stripped preventing any further
rejuvenation).  Now these countries have but token forests and huge areas
are completely stripped of all sustaining soils.  This heavy erosion has
caused numerous consequences, documented changes in coast line, changes in
river courses, destruction of habitats and the resulting vanishing of
wildlife, etc., etc., etc.

Will we repeat the same mistakes and simply give into our selfish guiltless
greed ( because everyone is greedy, aren't they?) and destroy the forests
that draw us to the mountains?  NO!  Let's stop the vicious cycle.  Let's
not give into the short term greed that causes the long term destruction of
the land.  If the price of lumber climbs it will force the building industry
to examine the viability of all other building materials.  Yes it will
increase the cost of homes, or will it?

Every time that I am trekking through some forest and I come across a large
area of old sawed stumps, it takes away from the forest / wilderness
experience, regardless of how lush the forest may now be.  It makes me feel
that not only has man been here but he has been here doing his ugliest work.
I guess that I like to imagine that this forest has never seen another man
and I am seeing it just as the first would have seen it.  Silly me to expect
so much in a NATIONALLY OWNED area.  I also object as a tax payer to
subsidizing the lumber and cattle industries on public lands.

I have let my publicly elected representatives know my feelings and provided
long term logic to back it up.  However, I feel it falls on deaf,
uninterested ears.  The interests of my future descendants have no say in
this discussion.  If they could, I believe the shouting would be deafening!


Greg "Strider" Hummel

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