Habitat destruction

Paul Cherubini cherubini at mindspring.com
Mon Jun 19 05:19:56 EDT 2000

Doug Dawn wrote:

> I was just in the Mendocino National Forest in northern California.  The
> clear cutting has definitely increased.  A very unique habitat, the kind your
> heart speeds up when you think about butterflying in, a special one I felt
> privileged to discover last spring, was infested with trucks and over logged
> this time.  Dusty and destroyed for real.  I called the Forest Service about this 
> infestation of chainsaws and they acknowledged the increases (by the way 
> the trees were hundreds of years old, now a rarity).  They said "they are on 
> private land within the Forest."

Doug, the California Forest Products Commission 
http://www.calforests.org/education/facts.html says we should worry 
more about bark beetles than chainsaws:

-  Insects do more damage to the forest than fires and disease
combined. Bark beetles eat a circle around the trunk, preventing 
nutrients from reaching leaves and roots.

- California foresters plant an average of 7 new trees for every 
one harvested. For at least 25 years, growth has exceeded harvest 
in California forests.

- Much of California¹s land has been cleared for housing and 
agriculture.But because of reforestation practices, our forests are
nearly as large as 100 years ago.

-On publicly owned lands, some forests are so overcrowded that
300 or more trees compete for light and nutrients in areas that naturally 
support only 20.

- 95% of all the old growth redwood trees in California are on 
publicly owned state and national park land, much of it donated by private
timber companies.

- To provide the products we use, The California Forest Practice
Act requires that all private forest land be replanted within five years.
Since 1952, California¹s total net annual forest growth for all ownerships
has doubled.

- The Sustained Yield Act requires forest product companies to develop a plan
that spells out how their forest ecosystems will be sustained for the next 100 years.

- Wildlife researchers have found old growth forests are not the spotted
owl¹s preferred habitat. They like younger, open forests that attract wood rats, 
their favorite food.

-Geneticists are unlocking the secrets to improving tree growth and 
immunity to disease.What they¹ve learned helps trees mature 35%
faster than just a few years ago.

- Fire is part of the forest cycle. Native Americans set them to clear
the forest floor for planting and hunting. Today we use controlled burns and 
mechanical thinning to help prevent damaging wild fires.

- The natural cycle of plants and animals in a forest depends on 
disturbances like forest fires. Harvesting techniques are often designed 
to mimic these disturbances.

- Trees are the only 100% renewable and recyclable resource we have, and 
much more energy and resource efficient than steel, plastic and aluminum.

Paul Cherubini

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