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E-M:/ Timber and Targets - TNT policy

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

> Tim:
> You are dead on and I can offer no difference in opinion.  Darn! You can not
> argue with a person who is right.  However, it should be known that in the
> landscape, timber harvests are changing.  Sometimes change is painfully slow.
> Also, please consider that historically it has been the winter range that
> has limited deer populations.  I do not believe that the creation of early
> successional forest (summer range) is the problem...at least in the northern
> parts of Michigan.  It is the artificial maintenance of the deer throughout
> the winter that bothers me.
>>Enviro-Mich message from "Tim Flynn" <tflynn@freeway.net>

But with climate change, and not a normal winter in a decade and a half,
winter range in no longer an effective limit, except in the snow shadow of
Lk Superior.    In my area only one winter in 10 has force the deer out of
the last, largest grove of Canada yew on state land, all the other winters
they have spent the winter in the uplands munching yew.

The yew use to be head high, and now only dead sticks remain that high.
And this is in an area the DNR says is "low" density, ie fall deer numbers
in the mid thirties per mile!

Also at the landscape level, clearcut harvesting is increasing, not
decreasing.  Whole tree harvests are more and more common, I've not seen one
non-whole tree clearcut in years.   So while very small changes are
occurring in forestry, the landscape impact, and intensity/severity of
harvest, is increasing.

You can see this effect in the forest service's inventory analysis (sapling
acres have increased from 1983 to 1996, the last two surveys) and in the
DNR's operations inventory.   In the AuSable State Forest's YOE 2000
compartments the AVERAGE cut intensity is 76% of the total volume of tree in
the stands slated for logging.

With over 80% of the volume cut from clearcuts, likely whole tree harvest.
At any one time 20% of the growing stock volume (live trees) of the entire
forest is slated for harvest.    The intensity of harvest is also focused on
the rarest oldest stands, the 10 % of the forest that is 80 years or older.
Pine stands that began growing in the late 1800's are now being clearcut,
treated as if they are fibre farms.

This cutting regime is likely occurring at the same landscape intensity as
the cutting at the turn of the century.   At the site level the intensity of
the logging is very clearly much higher, never have these forest been
disturbed at this level of site intensity, except for the glaciers, and
glaciers don't disturb the forest very 40 to 50 years as the DNR does!


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