So, global warming is contributing to the proliferation of bark beetles, and
allowing the beetle killed trees to burn contributes to global warming -- so why
not send in the lumber companies to harvest the dead trees before they burn?
I know that would voilate the SUWA and Sierra Club dogma that there
is nothing worse than harvesting a tree for commercial purposes, but maybe it's
time to help them understand that separation of church and state can also apply
to secular institutions.
We need to harvest trees and suppress fires. For decades we sold timber out of
the national forests which supported an entire industry of logging and lumber
while generating a taxes. Now due to environmental pressure we refuse to allow
selective timber harvest which leads to uncontrolled fire potential. Compounded
by the disastrous "let it burn" policy, like at Yellowstone Park, our forests
are a dying resource. We need healthy forests to maintain air quality.We must return to managed forestry or our forests will be gone in our
lifetime. To think that forests will manage themselves is as foolish as to
think that man has no impact on the environment. Of course we have an impact
and so we must intervene to manage or lose our resources. The side benefit is a
healthy logging and lumber industry that we have almost extinguished in this
>>We must return to managed forestry or our forests will be gone in our
lifetime. To think that forests will manage themselves is as foolish as to think
that man has no impact on the environment.>>I'm in favor of
sustainable timber harvesting, but this makes no sense. The forests were here
long before civilization arrived and did just fine without being managed.
Better to let everything die and burn than have some evil loggers make a profit.
The forests where I live are pretty much dead. I agree with Dave. We could
have logged the trees instead of having all the forest dead. It is really sad
and I hate to see the day when it all burns, but it is coming.
I think that the forest service has learned a lot about how they have changed
the forest. Now they see fire and natural processes as uncontrollable. So I say
let them do there best to "help" not manage the forest. There must be a way to
get the forests back to the way that nature in tended them. We are all human and
are part of this world and we too make mistakes. Logging can be a
great way to thin out and restore the forests. I have seen areas that were
destroyed by these beetles and it is worse than any fire or logging that I have
ever seen. I believe that this beetle is non native. Where does it come from?
If I am wrong let me know.
A company in Gunnison, Satterwhite Log Homes, used to harvest only beetle-killed
trees under permits from the Forest Service. They employed many dozens of
people. The Utah Environmental Congress (UEC)sued to prevent them from getting
new leases, thereby shutting down Satterwhite's operations, because the Forest
Service had failed to count the sage grouse in the area. That helped the
infestion of beetles to proliferate, put many people out of work, and gave the
UEC something to brag about on its website.
My understanding is that they can be sprayed and irradicated that way, but the
enviros are not going to let that happen!! It is very upsetting to drive through
these forests and see the devastation. At this point it would be an
incomprehensible task to take out the dead trees.
My understanding is that the beetles can only swarm when there's a large enough
food mass for them to reproduce in the necessary numbers. That only happens
when the energy of the forest is tied up in standing wood. The beetle grubs
can't survive under the think bark of immature trees.If you think of
the forest as a complex organic system that includes death and renewal, the
beetles are part of a natural cycle that happens every few centuries when the
forest is old. That way new trees grow and have light and water resources that
the old trees had blocked.Using this paradigm, it's morally
appropriate to harvest the insect killed trees and then foster the rebirth of
the forest, including planting trees and protecting animals, as the new forest
grows in.That's what we call generational stewardship, an idea the
environmentalists are supposed to believe in but are often too short sighted to
Just another example of how SUWA and the Sierra Club are destroying the west.
Common sense is not even an option for those groups.
We just got back from camping and its true, it is overwhelming the amount of
tree loss. The beetles need to be made incapable of reproduction and it needs
to be species specific. Or, evaluate the total enviornmental consequences of
increasing beetle-eating animal populations. That answer will likely come from a
group of enviromental scientists. Obviously spraying them with pesticide would
negatively impact the water supply and all living creatures, duh. Also,
allowing the trees to fully decompose will regenrate the soil so that when, and
hopefully soon, they start a massive replanting effort, the trees will be
healthier and stronger than ever. Letting the lumber industry have a portion of
them is reasonable, but it is not a solution to the beetle problem or the
deforestation problem. Its just people hoping to profit off of a problem.
"Years of fire-suppression efforts in forests have allowed those trees to become
more dense."Fire kills old, unhealthy trees and promotes growth of
young, healthy ones that are less susceptible to bark beetles. This is the true
cure, but doesn't fit with our "management" philosophy.
Before the Forest Service came along there were massive fires that burned off
the dead trees. Now that they suppress the fire the trees grow old and die. We
need to remove the dead and old trees to improve the health off the forest.
Logging the forest is the best way to keep the carbon locked up in the timber
and we have many productive uses for the wood.
The disastrous fire at Yellowstone happened because the Forest Service used to
put OUT every fire that happened, whether it started naturally or not. That
destroyed the forests natural death and rebirth cycles which is why the massive
fire was so devastating. It was Mother Nature's way of resetting the balance.
Yellowstone no longer puts out every fire. They let the natural
fires burn.As long as we mess up the balance, Mother Nature will
always find a way to reset it, whether it be through fires or wood-boring
My biggest question is, why did it take untill now, when almost all is lost to
realize a problem and act on it ?
It isn't global warming that has caused the huge losses to the bark beetle, it
is the change in forest management of the past four decades. Instead of saving
the forest, the practice of not harvesting the timber is actually causing the
beetle destruction of our forests.Not only do bark beetle killed
trees need to be removed, but also old and other infected trees as well. Some of
our good intentions have been the most harmful to our forests. Now due to
"environmentalists," NOT global warming, large areas of forest are going to have
to be harvested and replanted. Driving through some areas of forest are scary,
and sadly, it appears that nothing is being done.
This beetle infestation problem has been going on for years in southern UT and
the geniuses at the federal government (and other environmental groups) have
contributed to the problem. When all the trees are gone or infested, it will be
too late. In fact, it is too late, if the powers that be don't change course
What is the purpose of having forests? Is it to provide a natural habitat for
animals? To help balance the global environment? A place where humans can have
recreation? So what is the solution? Do we just sit back and let
nature take its course? or do we intervene and try to save what is left of the
forest? Why not let loggers harvest the dead wood and old trees? Why not do
When I was younger, I worked both for the Forest Service and as a timber
harvester. I truly believe most forest managers would like to be able to use
their training for true multiple use of the forests. The problem is that
federal regulations allow environmental groups to file protests of every
proposed timber sale, regardless of its purpose. When this occurs, the Forest
Service is forced to spend a huge portion of their budget doing extensive and
expensive environmental reviews. Groups like SUWA do not protest only those
sales that have significant negative impact, but EVERY sale. This exhausts the
resources of the Forest Services and reduces their ability to manage the forest.
I believe the key to sound forest management is a thorough review of existing
regulations to grant the Forest Service greater discretion in doing their job.
If this were done, there would be less forest fires contributing to global
warming, better wildlife habitat and stronger rural economies. It's time the
pendulum swung back in the direction of responsible management.
Here in Colorado they're making burn plants to burn the beetle killed trees and
make energy from them. And the best part of it all is that it's "carbon
neutral" because the carbon would be released back into the atmosphere by
burning or natural decay. Check it out for yourself. The minute I
heard about it, I became further convinced that so called "sustainability" and
"green" is all a crock.
Clearing deadwood and thinning trees make sense. During my 1970s college
summers, I was a logger. When Mt. St. Helens blew MILLIONS of trees were felled
by the eruption. It took almost 3 YEARS for our green friends to permit loggers
to clear out the dead trees and begin voluntary replanting...as opposed to
letting nature take its course~10-15 yrs for forest to reseed its from under a
couple of feet of pot-ash! It took 6 MONTHS of study to approve replanting with
the same species of trees in the native forest.The worst thing in
the world is a bunch of sincere and uninformed activists setting public policies
at the statehouse under a righteous banner of "environmentalism." For the most
part, if industry is in favor of something; the knee-jerk reaction of
environmentalists is opposition.Frankly, NO ONE is more interested
in the health of American forests than those whose living comes from converting
trees to lumber. Those forests sold to industry before 1970 have more healthy
trees & consistently produce more lumber than any public forest--only one guess
as to why!
Thanks Ed. Well put.Clear cutting is essentially what a forest fire
does. It may be the most economical method of harvesting but is also visually
the most obvious. Selective thinning permits sunlight down to the forest floor
allowing new growth and improving wildlife habitat. Canadian lynx thrive in
areas where logging has improved the habitat for their sole source of food, the
snowshoe rabbit. The trouble with the environazis is they don't know
how to strike a healthy balance. To them the forest would be better off if we
all stop adding carbon to the atmosphere by not breathing.
The enviro's are proud as punch for the unhealthy forests throughout the west.
They are dead and dying at a significant rate and the forest service budget is
all going to fight the wild fires that follow. Dead trees burn faster than
green trees. Why Congress allows the enviros to destroy our forests and
watersheds is beyond all reason. Until the public gets completely fed up, it
will continue. If you really care, call your Senators and Congressman.