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

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

This discussion points out what I noted in my last post about an inclination
to oversimplify the issues.  There is absolutely no question that the rarest
forest types in Michigan are the old growth white pine/red pine forests and
the old growth northern hardwood forests, which occur at a rate of less than
.5 of 1 percent of the range they existed in prior to European settlement,
according to the National Biological Survey.  In fact that is one reason
selection cutting as a preferred management tool is such  problem -- it tends
to manipulate and adversely affect stands moving toward old growth conditions,
as well as eliminating habitat for old growth species.

That is not in contradiction to the statement that the nesting habitat for
Kirtland warbler, which is jack pine stands at an age between about 7 years
and 18 years of age (when their branches are low and the ground nesting bird
is protected from predators) depends on massive disturbances, preferrably fire
but in current social conditions depending on clearcuts and replanting.

The excesses of clearcutting, which indeed are grossly excessive, are mostly
the result of the management to maintain aspen at about 10 times the rate it
would exist on the landscape in a natural forest pattern.  That is to
encourage some game species, most particularly the deer, and ever since the
pulpwood industry figured out how to use aspen, to feed paper mills and formed
wood products.  The aspen levels went way out of whack after the logging
barons stripped the lands, and then managers have sought to keep it way high
to meet the demand for deer and pulp.

Again, don't oversimplify.  There is a lot more to these issues than whack or
don't whack, and if folks really want to understand these issues they should
indeed look up the objective science before they speak.  

Anne Woiwode
Sierra Club

If clearcutting were actually a good management tool and cutover lands good
habitat for this warbler, there would be no shortage of the KW as there is an
OVERABUNDANCE of 0-20 age class forest in MI.   It is the lack of mature
forest/large roadless areas that is by far the number one concern for the
protection and restoration of extirpated, threatened and endangered species in
MI.  Wetland destruction is also a primary threat.  For aquatic T&E species,
of which there are many (more numerous than birds and mammals combined), good
water quality is of primary concern.  Clearcutting and other forms of
even-aged management (along with development) are a major threats to species
such as cold-water fishes that can not tolerate siltated steam beds for
reproductive success.  It is time that activists stop buying into
industry-funded research that rationalize more cutting and start using more
common sense and unbiased science.  Follow the research funding money trail,

Karen Tuerk, GREEN
Great Lakes ESA Organizer

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