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Re: E-M:/ Hidden Cost of Clearcutting

Enviro-Mich message from johnstom@deq.state.mi.us

Mike Boyce-

You state a hatred for clearcutting and then post an article
condemning spring logging.  These are two separate issues.  There
are many reasons to oppose much of the clearcutting that takes
place: clearcutting in spring (or selective cutting in spring),
clearcutting on steep slopes or too close to water bodies, or 
clearcutting forest communities that regenerate naturally through
gap dynamics, etc.  But a blanket condemnation of clearcutting
undermines the credibility of those who question current forest
management policy (and there is certainly much to question).
Besides jack pine, which I've said enough about already, consider
that if logging activity is dispersed over a larger area, the disturbance
to natural communities is also more widespread.  Intensive logging in a smaller area
creates less edge than a finer scale "checkerboard" of logged and
untouched areas; Michigan has far too much edge now.  We need more
large blocks of undisturbed land. Perhaps we might consider intensive,
agricultural type logging - including clearcuts - in certain 
non-critical landscapes as a way to minimize impacts to other
areas which deserve a higher level of preservation.
I believe clearcutting is appropriate in certain instances; it is
also a much abused and over used method. 

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