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Re: E-M:/ Conservation leaders form political action committee



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Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com>
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Maybe you will tell how 190,000 acres of forest are
artificially clearcut. I am bet the process is very
ecologically destructive and encourages a lot of
non-native plant growth into areas where it is
undertaken.
What is the principle reason for doing this? Follow
the money and we will know what is really going on
with forest management. Its goal is not ecosystem
health.

Isn't it true that the huge fires of the late 1800's
were the product of poor timber cutting practices.
>From what I have heard Michigan was just devestated by
the timber industry for profit during this time. Fire
was not a continual raging problem in the area before
there was massive clearcutting in the northern
forests.

I would question anything about how our forests should
be managed today that comes from timber industry
sources. They see forests as trees that are
harvestable dollars and basically nothing else.

To say we know a lot about how Jackpine forests
ecosystems work in natural settings sounds to me like
a wee bit of human arrogance in pursuit of material
profit. If Jackpine forests were fire-designed and
fire-adapted, there is no way they can not be very
different from forests that are now longer allowed to
burn in random patterns and are instead clearcut. Just
because Jackpines are still there and some of the
other wildlife is still there does not mean that the
ecosystem has not been severely altered. In fact the
claim that they are basically the same flies in the
face of logic and thinking. A good ecologist would not
make such questionable statements.

Roger Kuhlman
Ann Arbor, Michigan

--- JBull51264@aol.com wrote:

>
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> Enviro-Mich message from JBull51264@aol.com
>
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> 
> 
> In a message dated 4/25/06 4:30:47 PM,
> rokuhlman@yahoo.com 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
> 
> dependencies.
> 
> 
> 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
> 
> implemented. >>
> 
> 
> 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 
> 1800s?  
> 
> 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.
> 
> Jim Bull 
> 
> 
>
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