[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Clearcut Smearcut! Kirtland Warbler??

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com

Greetings, (apologies on the typo mispell of "Kirtland" on previous post)

One of the arguments put forth from those who oppose no commercial logging on
public lands is the need to "manage" jackpine forests which historically were
regenerated by fire.  

The exclusion of fire from this ecosystem and the dependency of the kirkland
warbler on trees with branches hitting the ground no more then 12-15 years old
has been used as the justification for clearcutting.

 Unfortunately, clearcutting does not mimic the spatial patterns created by
fires.  And even if we accept the ecological damage of clearcutting for the
warbler, there is no reason why that management cannot be a non-commercial
endeavor. (not an endorsement) 
And there is no reason why fire cannot be returned as the primary management
tool on the national forests for the jackpine type. (Yes, there will be plenty
of restoration work-- for years to come!)

Patch dynamics and patch characteristics in fire-regenerated jackpine are
different from those in clearcut landscapes;

-snags and downed woody debris is greatly reduced,
-no nutrients are deposited, via ash, to the soil,
-soils in fire landscapes are not compacted by heavy equipment
-clearcutting does not heat the ground in a manner that stimulates vegetative
regeneration of fire adapted species,
-clearcutting does not respond to microsite moisture gradients that lead to
patch differentiation,
-fire leaves unburnt patches,
-fire creates habitat for northern three-toed woodpeckers,
-Fire is natural, clearcutting is NOT!
-clearcutting skid trails and access roads are bad for reasons we all
know--oils, greases, and other hydrocarbons often contaminate logging sites.
Soil erosion, edge species invasion, illegal ORV use, etc.

Clearcutting is simply the cheapest way to maximize fiber production from what
are often poor soils. 

Clearcutting is the most efficient way to continue the steady loss of
biological capital of the northwoods of Michigan. 

Murray Dailey
Northwatch Project

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"