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E-M:/ Reply to Murphy

Enviro-Mich message from "Smethurst" <dsmeth@freeway.net>

-----Original Message-----
From: Murphwild1@aol.com <Murphwild1@aol.com>
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Cc: StumpsDon'tLie@forestcouncil.org <StumpsDon'tLie@forestcouncil.org>
Date: Thursday, October 29, 1998 5:45 AM
Subject: E-M:/ Long awaited response to Michigan DNR.

>Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com

While I find myself agreeing with some of what you wrote, I also believe you
are off base in some areas.  Jerry Thiede is a good guy.  He no longer is
the day to day manager of the Forest Management Division because he refused
to kow tow to K. Cool.  He still has a title and does valuable work.  I have
worked with him in the Pigeon River Country State Forest and also on the
State Forest Recreation Advisory Committee.  In my considerable experience,
he, and every DNR forester I know, work hard to consider all the values of
state forest land.  Yes, commercial forest production is done, and it is
important, but you overstate your case.

I know the Yellow Dog erosion site.  You did not mention whether there was a
direct cause and effect relationship between the selective cut and the
mudslide.  I would be interested in more details.  I do know that in the
PRCSF, with three trout steams I care about dearly,(former Chair of the
Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited) I know of no erosion caused by timber
harvest in my thirty years in the area.  There are absolutely terrible
clearcuts in the eastern and western mountains that wreck havoc on streams,
but that is not the case in Michigan, except perhaps  in very rare instances
(none of which I personally know of).

I take the greatest exception to your discussion of aspen management.  Aspen
is not suitable for old growth in that it is a relatively short lived tree.
The acres of aspen are diminishing in Michigan as our aspen stands age or
are replaced by other species.  Aspen is important for biodiversity, at
least how I understand the concept.  If aspen stands aren't cut, we simply
will not have young thriving aspen stands and the life forms they produce
will be gone.  I sometimes wonder why, to some, an old, dying aspen stand is
pretty and interesting (and they are), and a young aspen stand isn't (which
they are).

I sometimes wonder if some folks see or hear what goes on in the west and
assume Michigan is the same.  I am a school administrator and know that
people see movies about terrible schools and read horrible stuff about some
schools and then believe all schools are the same.  Is that happening here?
About forests and the Michigan DR Forest Management Division.

We must keep on guard.  There are those in State government who would turn
the forests into cash cows with little or no regard for all the values.
Equally wrong are those who want most of the forest manages as old growth.
The biggest problem we have on Michigan forests is the lack of people to do
any of the work.  Engler has cut so many positions that often thighs just
don't get done.  I suspect that much of the "over cutting"   cries are in
response to the fact that is the top priority.  Jobs really do depend on
forest products and there is nothing wrong with that.  Today, frequently
recreation and protection work gets on the back burner due to lack of
personnel, not policy.  The best thing that people who love our forests
could do is to vote the crumbs out of office and/or get a planned campaign
to lobby for an increase in dollars from the legislature for the FMD, let's
get more for Wildlife and Fisheries Division.

Folks, those guys are on our side.  They need our support and our guidance
as friends, not foes.  Tone down the rhetoric and do something positive that

Dave Smethurst

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