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Re: E-M:/ Saturday Detnews on Michigan Forests

Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>


Please read the article mentioned by Alex:

> Saturday's Netnews.com has an article on Michigan forests
> with some of EM's participants quoted.....along with a
> picture of Doug Cornett
> http://detnews.com/1999/metro/9912/11/12110116.htm

 I've picked out several tidbits that should be of
concern to those on this list who care about conservation.

1.. "Not all problems are man-made, says Tom Crow, professor of forest
ecology at the University of Michigan. Deer overbrowsing prevents
regeneration of cedar and hemlock. Gypsy moth infestation is killing oaks.
And it's anyone's guess how long-term climate change might affect different
tree species."

Seems to me that overabundant deer, gypsy moth transportation and climate
change are problems that come from human activities in the first place.

2.  "We have a healthy, thriving forest," says Peter Grieves, executive
director of the Michigan Association of Timbermen."

That's funny, seems like MAT and other logging groups (and their shills in
Congress) were only recently
carping that public forest lands had major health problems and using that to
justify suspension
of environmental laws, reductions in environmental reviews of logging
projects and accelerated
"salvage" logging in Michigan's National Forests.

3.  "Overall, however, more than twice as much wood is left to grow as is
cut in any given year, the agency says. Michigan leads the nation in
"surplus growing stock" -- annual growth minus harvested wood -- with some
700 million cubic feet."

Perhaps true.  Yet one must ask the question: What form is this wood in
across the landscape?  Thousands of aspen "whips" or 200 - 300
year old trees?  Think about this analogy:  Which is heavier, a pound of
bricks or a pound of
feathers?  Clearly they both weigh a pound but yet they are fundamentally
different.  The same is true for the "we grow twice as much wood as we cut"
spin of the timber industry and their shills in the DNR's forestry
department.  While more wood biomass is growing, the structure and
therefore the role of the trees comprising that biomass is also
fundamentally different then that which would occur under more natural

4.   "The forest products industry pumps $9 billion into the state economy
yearly and provides 150,000 jobs, Grieves says. Companies manufacture a
variety of pulp and paper items, furniture, lumber and other goods from
Michigan timber."

    Well, that's great.  Given this clear and present benefit to Michigan's
economy from logging, it seems that the jobs from
taxpayer subsidized logging on the National Forests, if lost, would be
readily absorbed by the economic behemoth that apparently is Michigan's
timber economy.
After all, according to the Forest Service's own data, from 1993 - 1997 over
165,009 acres were logged in Michigan's three national forests for an
average claim of 1,612 jobs in each of those years.  To harvest that wood,
taxpayers shelled out $24,002,614 dollars which works out to $2,978 dollars
in subsidy for each job claimed or $145 per acre logged.  Furthermore, if we
assume that each job pays $50,000/year, and we also assume that each dollar
entering the economy results in 7 new dollars in other economic activity,
then the value of logging the national forests in Michigan would be $50,000
x 1,612 = aprx. $80,000,000 x 7(multiplier) = $560,000,000/year to the
economy.  That's about 6.3% of the total value of Michigan's wood product
industry and less then 10% of the total timber jobs.  Someone check my math
and logic please.

Oh, by the way, how many workers lost their jobs in Flint, MI over the past
few years due to corporate flight?

Enjoy the holidays,

Dave Zaber

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