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Re: E-M:/ road kill license plate OK'd

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

> Tim
> I've seen a lot of articles recently on deforestation on the Enviro-mich, but
> I personally haven't seen anyone mention tree farming. Maybe I just don't
> understand, but why aren't we tree farming with a plan. For instance if it
> takes 30 years to grow a harvestable tree, then the area is divided into
> 1/30ths, and every year a part is cut and a part is replanted.
> If that were to be done [at least in my small mind], in many different areas
> as well, wouldn't it also serve as a fire line, allow animals and birds to
> move a short distance and allow us to still harvest wood? There must be
> something wrong with my concept or am I just deleting before seeing this tree
> farming idea discussed?
> Jerry Renning
Not sure how to answer this, but first, forests are far more complex than
farms and modern farms are not likely sustainable, they require inputs from
outside (fertilizer, pesticides, gas, seed, etc).

Even if we're willing to except inputs from somewhere else and globally how
do you do that, it's a different thing to grow corn for a summer, and keep
it growing, and to grow a mono-culture of trees for 30-50 years without

Also very few species will withstand the 30 rotation and planting cycle.
They'll need dead trees, snag etc, and these are not found in plantations at
zero through thirty years of age.    The species that may survive would be
habitat generalist.  A biota without specialists is an impoverished
community.   If you only provide habitat for generalist species, the
specialist will die out and you'll be left with fewer species.  That is
exactly what humanity is doing right now, both here in Michigan and
globally.   We've not just losing habitat we've simplifying the habitat that
remains.   Tree farming is exactly such a strategy.

Forests are just so complex, and we know so little about how they function,
that working with nature, instead of replacing native forest with a simple
tree farm, is inherently more sustainable.

Such a strategy requires a) large protected areas system (representative
wild native landscape ecosystems), b) managing remaining forests with focus
on what remains in the forest, not on what we take (retaining biological
legacies and structures), and c) finding ways to use less material, not
letting demand for fiber decide how forests are managed.

Well that's a very quick and dirty expo of some problems with treating
forests as farms.


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