Forest Management Much Like Pine Barrens'

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
0
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In a recent congressional hearing, a professor of forestry at Texas A&M advocated a view of forest management quite similar to the way the forest is being managed in the Pine Barrens. Addressing how to protect communities from what he calls monster forest fires, the professor said that the forest service should use loggers to help recreate the kind of forest that was found before the european settlers arrived in America. One thing he said I thought was particularly interesting was that contrary to a common belief that pre-european forests in America were an unbroken chain of trees, these early forests were a patchwork of clumps of trees and open areas, such as savannahs, and that different areas of the forests were in different stages of ecological succession. This was caused by natural fires, which nobody stopped, and other factors. The professor's idea is to manage the forest to mimick nature to restore the forest to its historical ecological condition, which he believes works best. He has been studying American forests for more than 30 years.

Isn't this the reasoning for harvesting trees, followed by a controlled burn in the Pine Barrens? Not only do the openings create fire breaks; they restores the habitat for species which require these openings which have become endangered because the openings have ceased to exist.

The electronic transcript is quite long, but I think worth the reading. After all, there has been a lull in posting.

http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/107cong/forests/2002jul11/bonnicksen.htm
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Jeff,

That is quite a bit for me to read, but for the most part I agree with you on the controlled burn. And there is proof in the pines that the state believes this also. So I feel that here in NJ we are doing a pretty good job in keeping the massive fires in check. Maybe not perfect, but no one is.

Thanks for the info, and your link.

Guy
 

JeffD

Explorer
Dec 31, 1969
180
0
16
I think the NJ Forest Fire Service is doing a great job of keeping fires in check too, Guy. The state foresters are also doing a great job of managing the Pine Barrens.

I emailed the congressional Forest and Forest Health subcommitte to say that they should take the professor's advice and I also mentioned that the forest is being managed in the Pine Barrens in a way much like the professor advocates. The feds should look at New Jersey as a model for forest management, although foresters have to use adopt a unique specific plan for each particular forest area.

See, Guy, traffic is coming back. It also just started coming back to the other bulletin board where I post, although just a trickle.

Oh, for the record. I think, especially in the Pine Barrens, the combination of logging and controlled burns are good, with the logging coming first.

Jeff