Forest thinning should be mandated for keeping our forest healthy. I grew up in a home located on the edge of our forest. We logged to pay for our 640 acres of farm and forest land. My father was a logger and many members of our families were employed in the lumber and sawmill industry during its heyday.
I can remember walking through the forest to the pastures to get out cattle and thinking what a remarkable place, the forest! There was not much in the way of brush as this was old growth timber. Second growth and later harvests are prone to brush, but not the majestic old growth.
On one such trek, a lightning storm struck and a tree about 50 yards from me was hit with lightning. There was a perfect corkscrew slash down the entire length of the tree. My brothers and I had to put out the resulting fire when several trees in the area were struck.
My fathers, and my attitude, toward the forest came out of our farming background. We planted and raised many different crops. The woods were just another crop that became ripe and had to be harvested, or it soon degenerated into useless spongy wood. Outside of cutting one quarter of our land to pay for off the mortgage, we only harvested enough trees each year to keep the stand of trees an appropriate distance apart, able to get sunlight to the forest floor, and occassionally plant areas that were getting a little slim in tree population.
In doing so we never had any problems with forest fires, although many were started and finished in our area. Our land always had plenty of game to hunt and we took advantage of this free bounty of nature. We always sold lots of mushrooms and natural produce from the forest.
Now comes the so called “environmentalist” who would lock up the woods so nobody benefits from this area. The only way they want people to partake of the forest is to walk through it on well marked forest paths. How crazy is this idea? The forest should be for all to enjoy and for all to take care of. If a tree comes ripe why can’t we agree on a way to harvest this product of nature so all folks who need lumber or paper products can have access? Seems silly to let a valuable ($1-2,000 per tree) product lay there and pass into rotten wood with nobody ever getting any value for the 25-50 years the tree stood there growing to fullness.
We had a “sustained yield harvest” policy at one time! Why can’t we go back to utilizing what nature produces and agree on reasonable tactics and strategies to remove those trees?