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Re: E-M:/ Conservation leaders form political action committee
- Subject: Re: E-M:/ Conservation leaders form political action committee
- From: JBull51264@aol.com
- Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 16:02:01 EDT
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: JBull51264@aol.com
Enviro-Mich message from JBull51264@aol.com
In a message dated 4/25/06 4:30:47 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< The Jackpine forests are fire-designed and
fire-adapted ecosystems. They did not come into
existence by clearcutting. If you think about it,
clearcutting can not never have the same impact on
nutrient recyclying, bacterial, micro-organism and
insect populations in the soil microhabitats of these
forests among many other things. To say we have a good
handle on knowing fully how Jackpine ecosystems work
and that we can manipulate them to our own ends
without negative impacts is a faulty, unexamined
assumption. Such high level knowledge does not exist
today. Heck we don't even have a full biological
inventory of all the species found in Jackpine forest
ecosystems and their many inter-relationships and
Clearcutting is an artificial and selective
manipulation of the environment. Maybe it is good for
the Kirtland's Warbler and a few other animals in the
short run in the few selected places where it is
Yes, Jackpine ecosystems are fire designed and were created that way. No
argument here on that. You fault me for making assumptions. To say that we
don't have a "good handle on how the Jackpine ecosystem works" is a huge
assumption that shows you have no familiarity with the extensive research that has
been done on the Jackpine ecosystem. Certainly we don't know everything. We
don't know "everything" about global warming either, and I for one support taking
action on what we do know.
You responded to very little of the substance of my comments. The
alternative is not letting wildfires take their course or clearcutting as part of
Jackpine ecosystem management. It isn't even prescribed fire (control burns) vs.
clearcutting. It is clearcutting (as part of comprehensive ecosystem
management) or lose the vast expanses of jackpine early successional ecosystem.
If you think that you are going to convince all humans to move out of the
northern 1/3rd of the Lower Peninsula so we can let fires run wild and thus have
a "naturally" created jackpine ecosystem, more power to you. Or if you can't
convince folks to just leave are you going to buy all that land, or do you
think that the state or feds already talking about selling lands they have are
going to be able to buy all that land. And before you get too judgmental, it
is not just folks who live in the jackpines that are put at risk by wild fires.
There are hardwoods that can burn too that are adjacent to jackpine areas.
I do not believe that folks who build in floodplains should get flood
insurance, and those who build in jackpines probably should not be able to get fire
insurance. But it would be a stretch to say that we should or even could move
all folks out of Grayling, Tawas City, Oscoda, Mio, Roscommon , etc., because
those folks, even though not living in jackpine, would be at risk from the
kind of large wild fires that used to rage across the northern Lower Peninsula.
And fires do add particulate matter to the air, that is not healthy to
breathe. I would suggest a bit more of a real world perspective. Have you read any
accounts of the fires that burned large portions of the North country in the
By the way, I am not sure what you consider natural, but if all human caused
events are unnatural, that is also a problem, because it is well documented
that Native Americans regularly set fires in the jackpine to encourage
blueberries and game species (wildlife management on a major scale). The Jackpine
ecosystem became extensive in part due to those fire management regimes. Later,
the early successional jackpine ecosystem was extended again, in the aftermath
of the fires that happened after the clearcutting of White Pine, Red Pine and
older Jackpine when the northern Lower Peninsula was essentially denuded of
trees. Is that the natural fire you would suggest bringing back?
Again, before wildlife biologists and foresters learned how to mimic (not
exactly duplicate but closely approximate) wild fires by clearcutting and
planting, the jackpine ecosystem was disappearing. That's why the KIrtland's Warbler
numbers got so precariously low. It might be more accurate to say that
Jackpine is a human-dependent species than a fire dependent species, since humans
have so been so critical to perpetuating that ecosystem first thought causing
the fires directly or indirectly, and now by clearcutting and planting.
Finally, your statement, "Maybe it is good for the Kirtland's Warbler and a
few other animals in the short run in the few selected places where it is
implemented," also shows that you know little about the research that has been done
on the jackpine ecosystem or about the huge complement of species that
benefit from that management. It is not just a few. And it is not just animals,
but also a long list of plants, many endangered or threatened themselves.
Some 190,000 plus acres are managed as jackpine ecosystem suitable for Kirtland's
Warbler--I'd say that is more than "just a few selected areas." I'd say that
is a commitment to perpetuate the Jackpine ecosystem over a large area of its
former range in Michigan! I think it deserves a salute not condemnation, or
misguided second-guessing. It is working, that is the bottom line.
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