Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning the Forest

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
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Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

You're right, trying to reason using science and common sense is like yelling into a storm. With SOME people, such as the tree hugging disciples of Henry David Thoreau. You'll never convince the leaders of groups such as the Sierra Club. Some of the individual members of these groups, and other folks who don't understand the whys and wherefores and haven't heard the other side, however, is another story. There most likely are people who genuinely care about clean air, clean water, healthy forests, etc, who buy into radical environmental groups, honestly ignorant of what they truely are about.

Recently, while researching what Pete Kostmeyer, who is running for state senator in my area against the incumbent, I came across some interesting information between the Zero Population Growth (which Pistol Pete was/is with, website and the Sierra Club (which praised Kostmeyer) website. There was a blub about opposing the Bush plan to thin forests. The writer noted that some of the folks in the Sierra Club said they wanted conservation measures in place but didn't think a total ban on logging, which the Sierra Club advocates. These folks were challenged -- the upshot was that a total ban was the only way to be good stewards of the environment, and that just wisely managing the woods and just limiting and regulating logging was like being half pregnant. Some folks look at issues as all or nothing and that the activity is inherently bad and it must be stopped alltogether, somewhat like some fundamentalists telling their kids not to dance or go to movies because these activities were degraded by some people.

A year or two ago, I emailed a columnist who was critical of some environmental groups role in public policy. I wrote that I was suprised to hear that the National Wildlife Federation, an environmental group which I respected and believed credible, was involved in private meetings with Forest Service personnel to sneak in some scientifically unsound and generally kookie policies. She responded by saying that all mainstream environmental groups have a radical element to it and that it's generally just a matter of time before they take over and dominate the group. I had to laugh at the Sierra Club's comment that they are following in the tradition of their founder, John Muir. It more like Henry David Thoreau. Co founders of Greenpeace Patrick Moore and Bjorn Lomburg left the organization after the nuts took over.

I agree with Patrick Moore that the nonsense spewed by the eco-nuts needs to be debunked -- not to convince the extremists, but to convince an unknowing public, which has heard just one side for the past few decades.

A book that helped turn my thinking around was ENVIRONMENTAL OVERKILL/WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COMMON SENSE, by scientist Dixy Lee Ray. And now for the other side of the story...
 
Z

ZippySLC

Guest
Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

I think it's a loosing battle. Any time you do or say something that has to do with managed forest care, controlled burning, etc. you're labeled as someone who doesn't care about the environment. Any time you try to speak out against the enviro's, you're labled as anti-environmental. Since the general population of the USA are pretty sheepish and ill-informed, and they think that groups like the Sierra Club are actually preserving the environment for all of us, and not just a select few, you'll never be able to educate them. Noone in their right mind would give enough press time to people like us who want to preserve the environment and manage it in a scientific, controlled way, and not by tacking up "KEEP OUT" signs all over the place.

The "keep off" mentality won't work. Letting our forests amass the huge amounts of fuel that they have, and then letting people live close to the forests is dangerous and costly. The solution is to either thin out the forest (and this does not mean bulldoze it and put a Wal-Mart there) by using selective logging, controlled burning, etc. or get all of the people who live near the forests to move.

Personally, I love the Pine Barrens, and I want to see them preserved for generations to come. I sincerely believe that we can balance the enviro's need for preservation with the need for managed forest care and open access for everyone. The first thing that needs to happen is a change in the mentality of the enviro's to see that both sides have the same agenda, just different ideas on how it should happen. Then the next thing would be to be able to come to some sort of comprimise and manage the land together.

Well, we know that won't happen any time soon.

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NJPineBarrens.com - Exploring the Ghost Towns of Southern New Jersey
 

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
0
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Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

It is tough to turn decades of thinking around, but do not be faint of heart, there has been progress in getting people to realize that wise, responsible management is the way to protect the environment for all to enjoy. Just look at the state's plan to thin the forests. I think progress in this area will be incremental. It will also entail compromise. Recently, congress reached a compromise on a bill to thin our national forests. I think it's a good sign that most of the thinning projects are aimed at protecting the community/forest interface.

http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/press/2002/2002_1008fire.htm

I think the massive destruction of our forests and to homes by wildfire, which has hit a high this season, has helped people think about a plan to reduce the fuel that fuels these monster fires. It was reported that the folks who returned to their homes in Show Low, Arizona grumbled about the "tree huggers." It's also good that during the past few years sources that bring fair and balanced reporting have increased.

I agree that is important to try to work with environmentalists to show them that wise management is the key to protecting the environment to keep it for all to enjoy. I remember several years ago see a report on TV where an environmental group went on camera to tell us about their concern for the environment. Someone not directly connected to any environmental group ran towards the camera and said "we care about the environment too."

I checked out the link you provided and read your open letter to the group that pushed for legislation to regulate ORV's. It made good points and came across as a well-reasoned argument for the best way to protect the Pine Barrens in a spirit of cooperation. Groups such as the ones you're associated with should continue to communicate the philosophy of use but don't abuse and show that you care about the environment too.

Of course, as I said, everyone won't agree. I think that occasionally irreverent satire will help drive home the problem with certain philosophies of how to protect the environment, as it reflects their nature, a bit like judo, where an opponents force is turned against itself. It's also good to be reminded of human foibles. We sometimes need a dose of humor to realize that humans sometimes slip on bannana peels. We pick ourselves up and go on. But we also need to educate people and foster understanding and acceptance of the best way to manage a resource such as the Pine Barrens. People need to communicate, listen, and build a consensus.

I registered with your site.


-Jeff
 
Z

ZippySLC

Guest
Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

I registered with your site.
Thanks. Unfortunately my message boards are nowere near as active as the ones here, nor do I have the different personalities that are here visiting and sharing their opinions. :)


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NJPineBarrens.com - Exploring the Ghost Towns of Southern New Jersey
 

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
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Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

That's subject to change, Ben. I'm a bit burnt out right now but once I get up a head of steam maybe I'll do some posting there. I have a way of stirring things up, for better or for worse. As Oscar Wild said, there's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.
 

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
0
16
Evidence of the Benefits of Thinning

TOM DASCHEL
[parody of the old folk song TOM DOOLEY]

Hang down your head Tom Daschel
Hang down you head in shame
Hang down you head Tom Daschel
You're arguements against W's plan are lame

Out there in your district
What is this we see?
No burdensome environmental regulations
You let loggers cut freely the trees

Hang down your head Tom Daschel
Hang down you head in shame
Hang down you head Tom Daschel
You're arguements against W's plan are lame

If it weren't for those right wing liasons
You would not be under such scruitiny
But as it is they will hang you
with your gross hypocracy

Hang down your head Tom... Daschel
Hang down you head in shame
Hang down you head Tom Daschel
You're arguements against W's plan are lame

Early on we were mourning
We saw right through your disguise
Hang down your head Tom Daschel
Boy you're just another pol who lies

Hang down your head Tom Daschel
Hang down your head in shame
Hang down your head Tom Daschel
You're arguements against W's plan are lame

Outside of your district
You won't let them cut one white oak tree
Here there is no mystery
What's good for you is not for me

SO hang down your head Tom... Daschel
Hang down your head in shame
Hang down your head Tom Daschel
You're arguements against W's plan are lame
You're arguements against W's plan are lame