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

Enviro-Mich message from "Tim Flynn" <tflynn@freeway.net>


I feel I must respond to your over generalized comments.   While what you
say may be true in some cases, we are talking about a specific ecosystem.
An to be effective we need to be accurate and specfic to the facts of this
habitat not just general dislike for logging and the FS.

Below are comment on specific parts of your message, where the general fails
in this specific example.  If you really want to have an impact in Michigan
you should get out on the land, I'd be happy to take you on a tour of the
forests in my backyard.

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <fambrose@bloomington.in.us>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I would like to add my two cents on this issue about clearcutting for the
> Kirtlands Warrbler and whether or not a commercial timber sale is needed.
> I will not pretend to be a scholar on the KW. If there is cutting needed
> now to save the bird from extinction, then this cutting could possibly
> take place with out a commercial timber sale. The Forest Service could cut
> trees, and leave them lay in the place they land, then do a prescribe fire
> over the area to reduce fuel loads.
We can leave all of them in place for two reasons: 1) fire fuel reduction
and safety of fire fighters, 2) you can't sell timber you leave on site, and
therefore get no dollars to do the non-commercial part of the job.
> The Forest Service loses close to a billion dollars a year cutting timber
> from all of our National Forests, Michigan included. This money could be
> spent on true ecological restoration. There need not be any commercial
> interest in the management of our forests whatsoever. The corporations
> must go.
This doesn't apply to KW management on the Huron-Manistee, which is funded
out of endangered species funds and sale of timber.   True ecological
restoration would entail large scale crown fire, which is not currently an
option, better landuse 100 year from now may allow a real Jack Pine systems
to return.  In the meantime KW need to breed.
> It is hard to believe an agency that has so long been in bed with the
> timber industry when ever they claim to be managing for an endangered
> species or for anything. On the Hiawatha, there was recently a notice for
> comment on a project to improve the visual characteristics of the Indian
> River. The tool - Logging. they plan to log some 2-300 acres of forest. I
> can not say I have ever been to a logging operation anywhere that looked
> good. In fact, they all have looked awful.
Looks ain't every thing!   And is hard to believe in anything from afar, get
out there talk to the managers, attempt to understand the situation.   You
will likely, just like me, not accept every rationale given or the method
chosen, but you will have a better feel for the people and the specific
situation.   You may gain the managers respect and from mutual respect good
work gets done.  Pot shots from afar convince few people.
> Back to the KW. The equipment that is needed to remove the trees in a
> harvest may not compact the sandy soil, but it will definently disturb it,
> cause severe erosion and will destroy the nutrient layer for years to
> come. Once again, if the cutting of some trees is really the correct thing
> to do, which I am not convinced it is after talking to several bird
> experts, then they can be cut and left to rot in place.
This is clearly not back to KW habitat, you are failing to address the sandy
outwash system and the fire regime present.   The more fuel in the system
the more likely the next accidental fire is to damage the soil, so it's a
trade off equipment or very hot soil impacting fires.  It's also a tradeoff
in fire fighter safety.  We walk these areas with the staff and other
concerned folks, we listened to their concerns, expressed ours.   We gave
some and got some in the exchange.  That "some" being specific issues and
concerns; and also, and most importantly understanding of each others point
of view.

More work than just saying no to everything, but at least in the short run
much more effective in protecting ecological values IMHO.
> About fire risk. I am pretty sick of hearing about how logging a blowdown
> will decrease the risk of a fire. It will increase the risk of a fire. It
> will increase the amount of dead fine fuels by removing all the trees and
> leaving tops. The fine fuels are what starts fires, not the heavy fuels.
> As I have heard quoted before, every good girl scout knows that to start a
> camp fire, you dont flick your bic next to a two foot in diameter tree,
> you use the needles and twigs.
Again it'd be helpful to interact with the managers, and see their concerns
with stacked dry massive fuel build ups after the blowdown.   This massive
tangle of trees is dangerous and difficult to maneuver in, if a fire starts,
for the fire crews, which WILL be call to stop the fire.   It's partly a
safety issue.   Fire don't start in large woody debris, but that'll be where
they really get going.   The natural dynamic would be blowdown, and small
fire starting, running into the blown down timber, very intense soil
impacting fire and centuries of recovers, with prairies and savanna's being
created.   Look at the vegetation circa 1800 for this area, you'll see lots
of prairies and savannas.
> Logging will also increase the access to the forest for the slob hunters
> and weekend warriors. Humans cause many more fires than nature does. A
> blowdown is incredibly in-accessable. There is little chance that
> a fire will start because no one can get into the area. The increaseed
> access of a logged out forest and the accumulation of fine fuels provides
> great opportunities for a strong fire. Contact Tim Ingalsbee of the
> Western Fire Ecology Center for backup on what I say here.
These are all issues we've raised with the Mio Ranger District regarding the
blowdown, they acknowledge the "access equals more fire starts" equation,
but it's not that simple.   In some areas we got them to leave the blown
down timber, where safety concerns were smaller, in other areas we agreed to
logging to reduce danger to fire fighters and local population.

How much work has Tim Ingalsbee done on the H-MNF or Northern Lower
Peninsula fire ecology?
> It is time we ended our commercial extraction from our National Forests.
> The Industry has been at the reigns to long, and we must take that power
> back.
It seems to me we need to put restoration and ecological integrity first,
but all that's wrong with our forest management is not restricted to
commercial extraction.   A lot a deer management was done non-commerically
and it still had negative effects on native plant communities.

Tim Flynn

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