Bush Unveils Logging Plan to Prevent Fires

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,61024,00.html"; target="_blank">Story</a>



A needed plan, IMO.



My father is a small lumber wholesaler. What I am told: (and despite being in the industry, he isn't exactly Mr. Big Bad Corporate Lumber Dude....he also has been in the business for 25 years).



1. There are more trees in the US now than during the revolutionary war.



2. Removing old and dead trees does in fact, prevent fires.



3. The lumber industry plants more trees than it cuts down each year.



4. They have sophisticated harvesting system, broken into "grids". That is, they know exactly what sector will be ready 10, 20, and even 50 years down the road. they know how much to plant, and how much to cut.



5. Overly-Restrictive logging regulations have driven the price of lumber through the roof.



6. The "save the trees" people are out to lunch. Why would this industry risk putting itself out of business by destroying all forest land?



The environmentalists are wrong on this one, at least those who come out against cutting. Remember the spotted owl thing? Guess what, it was proven it was a hoax! That incident basically destroyed entire towns based around sawmills. I am told that near the recent fires in Arizona, there were once 28 saw mills. Guess how many there are now? Zero. Trees are also renewable resource.



Have a nice day.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    What we need to combat fires is some good 'ole strategerie, thank God we have Dubya to take care of it.



    It's kind of a sad commentary on the state our political activist segment that they will most likely freak out about this like the child screaming about getting a shot that will cure his illness.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    I'm sure he has some ulterior motives for this move, but the fact is point #2 above is correct: some cutting of trees / selective burning is a GOOD thing.



    When you ban everyone from cutting in heavily forested areas for years at a time, it inevitably leads to more fires, not less. Also, fire - when it doesn't get out of control like it did in Colorado this year - is a benefit to the forest ecosystem.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    stroszekstroszek Posts: 801member
    OK, I'll admit, I didn't bother to read the linked article(so correct me if I am missing something), but from what I have seen on the news this plan seems kind of half-assed.



    I'd gladly put myself in both the "environmentalist" and the "I strongly dislike Bush" groups, but I agree with all of you, and *gasp* with Bush, that thinning of the forests needs to be done. But that isn't all that needs to be done. After being thinned, the forests need to be burned. From what I have seen, Bush's plan does not include this. Thinning will remove some of the fuel, but will not remove the fuel on the forest floor. Burning is the best way to do this.



    One question though: where does he get of making this plan? The way that I understand it, the National Forest Service, and possibly the National Park Service (I can't remember) have had a similar plan that has actually been improving the health of our forests for years. His heart may be in the right place, but I would rather have the forest service be making the decisions for out forests than him. I understand why some of you may not like the NFS, but they are professionals that do know what they are doing.



    Bush is an oil man, not a forester. Just my 2¢...



    [ 08-22-2002: Message edited by: Stroszek ]</p>
  • Reply 4 of 47
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,037member
    Well, that would be a seemingly well thought-out post, except:



    1) The Clinton Administration is who put many of the restrictions in place.



    2) Things have NOT been getting better "for years". Things have been getting worse, based on the intense lobbying of the environmentalists that oppose cutting. Worse for fire fuel, worse for loggers, worse for everybody. But, hey! The tree huggers think they made a difference.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    [quote]Originally posted by Stroszek:

    <strong>His heart may be in the right place, but I would rather have the forest service be making the decisions for out forests than him. I understand why some of you may not like the NFS, but they are professionals that do know what they are doing.



    Bush is an oil man, not a forester. Just my 2¢...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    But I'm sure he's got qualified, smart people who know this stuff advising him.



    I doubt very seriously he was eating his Pop Tart one morning and it suddenly dawned on him, and that this is all his idea/plan.



    No president operates in a vacuum and without the advice and support of experts and advisors in their particular field or arena.



    How do we know that actual NFS people weren't in on - and helped come up with - Bush's plan?
  • Reply 6 of 47
    jrcjrc Posts: 805member
    Get rid of all the forests and there will be no more forest fires.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    [butthead]Shut up ass-munch...foreths are coool.[/butthead]



  • Reply 8 of 47
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    [quote]Removing old and dead trees does in fact, prevent fires. <hr></blockquote>



    Earlier this year when the bushfires went through Sydney I returned home to help out my mother and help fight the fires. I saw the fires literally come up to her backdoor.



    I can tell you the difficulty with bushfires isn't the old dead trees. The danger in bushfires comes from two major areas; undergrowth and tree top fires. Additionally in Australia you have exploding eucalpyts, which are nasty.



    Removing old dead trees only helps so far as there is nothing to burn but frankly it isn't the major difficulty in a bushfire. That said it is still a part of necessary prevention policy but it isn't that major compared to clearing overgrowth.



    [quote] 6. Why would this industry risk putting itself out of business by destroying all forest land? <hr></blockquote>



    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> You've clearly never worked with some of these industries. The only reason most large lumber producers are moving towards sustainability, they aren't even close yet so don't kid yourself there, is because they are being forced. Given the option they just clear cut then move onto somewhere else.



    Trees aren't necessarily a renewable resource and there are a great many areas that effect the sustainability of their operations.



    [quote] I am told that near the recent fires in Arizona, there were once 28 saw mills. Guess how many there are now? Zero. <hr></blockquote>



    That's just a case of risk management. This is really no different to if a farmer has a crop failure only the regrowth time is a little longer.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,037member
    Telomar, give me a break....



    [quote]I can tell you the difficulty with bushfires isn't the old dead trees. <hr></blockquote>



    Wrong. They are big part of the problem.



    [quote]You've clearly never worked with some of these industries. The only reason most large lumber producers are moving towards sustainability, they aren't even close yet so don't kid yourself there, is because they are being forced. Given the option they just clear cut then move onto somewhere else.



    Trees aren't necessarily a renewable resource and there are a great many areas that effect the sustainability of their operations. <hr></blockquote>



    I have been around the industry all my life, actually. They have been planting more trees than they cut down for years. Given the facts I mentioned about there being more trees now than there were 200 years ago, you don't have a leg to stand on concerning sustainability. They have had these systems in place at least since the mid-eighties.



    And, "Trees aren't necessarily a renewable resource"????? What the hell are you talking about? I'd like some backing on that one, because that statement is INSANE.



    [quote]That's just a case of risk management. This is really no different to if a farmer has a crop failure only the regrowth time is a little longer. <hr></blockquote>



    (re: sawmills)



    So wait, you are saying that they went of business because they had a bad crop???? Well, I'm pretty sure they went bust because federal regulations were passed that DIDN'T LET THEM CUT ANY FREAKING TREES DOWN. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> Perhaps that's why those mills aren't there anymore? Hmmmmm. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 10 of 47
    [quote]Originally posted by JRC:



    <strong>Get rid of all the forests and there will be no more forest fires.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    No thanks. I need air to breath... such as it is.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    [quote]Originally posted by SDW2001:

    <strong>Well, that would be a seemingly well thought-out post, except:



    1) The Clinton Administration is who put many of the restrictions in place.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>

    I don't really want to get into a Clinton/Bush debate, so I'm just going to skip a reply.



    [quote]<strong>2) Things have NOT been getting better "for years". Things have been getting worse, based on the intense lobbying of the environmentalists that oppose cutting. Worse for fire fuel, worse for loggers, worse for everybody. But, hey! The tree huggers think they made a difference.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I guess I should have explained my thoughts better. The way I see, it we are both right. Things have been getting better and worse for years.

    Things are getting better: The government is coming to understand the consequences of a century long ban on forest fires. People are realizing that our forests are not in a natural state now. People are realized that things need to be done. Research is being carried out, and our understanding of the forests and the way in which they work is increasing greatly. Furthermore we are starting to use this knowledge to improve the health of our forests.

    Things are getting worse: The government has actively suppressed all fires for almost a century. That's a big, big problem. Lots of unhealthy forests. The American West isn't doing well when it comes to droughts. People are moving further and further out of cities in the west, and further and further into the forests. Basically, the problem is HUGE, and it's going to take a long time to fix the situation we are in now.



    [quote]Originally posted by Telomar

    <strong>I can tell you the difficulty with bushfires isn't the old dead trees. The danger in bushfires comes from two major areas; undergrowth and tree top fires. Additionally in Australia you have exploding eucalpyts, which are nasty.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Agreed. Luckily, we don't have to deal with exploding eucalpyts though.





    I don't entirely disagree with your post, SDW2001:

    1) There are more trees here than there were at the time of the Revolutionary War. There are probably more than there were at the time of Columbus. This is because well before Europeans invaded the continent, the Native Americans were actively improving the health of the forests. I doubt that they knew that was what they were doing though. But they used fire as a tool. They would set fires to drive wildlife out of the forests. Fire was a hunting tool. Once they killed what they needed, they moved on, and the fire burnt until it went out. There wasn't the devastation that we are seeing now simply because there wasn't the outrageous amounts of fuel just sitting there. Constant burning took care of that. Burn, let a little fuel build up, burn, and you don't have a huge fire that causes the soil to become hydrophobic. No problems.



    As far as the grid systems and the amount of trees planted each year, I don't know any of that for a fact, but I'm sure your father wouldn't lie to you, so I accept it as fact.



    I do, however, disagree with you when you say "Removing old and dead trees does in fact, prevent fires." From everything I have read and seen, your father is mistaken. Don't get defensive, that's not an attack on him, most people are mistaken when it comes to forest management. The way I understand it is basically the Native American fire system I explained earlier. The main problem is the fuel on the forest floor. Forest fires are caused by three things: Lightening, human negligence, and arson. Lightening will either strike a tree or the forest floor. I don't know about you, but lightening has struck trees near my house, and the tree is fine, no fire ensued. Granted the tree was alive. With a dead tree, it is more possible that the tree will catch fire. When it strikes the forest floor, whether or not a fire begins depends on the state of the floor: the fuels sitting there, and how dry they are.



    That's 2 fire causes there, remember them, I'll come back to them.



    With human negligence: basically, these fires begins with a campfire that gets out of control, a cigarette but carelessly tossed, or even sparks from motor vehicles. I want to say it was the summer of 1999 when a rather large fire in southern New Mexico was started by a spark caused from a hubcap falling off of a car.



    So now we have 3 fire causes.



    1) Dead tree catching on fire.

    2) Forest floor catching on fire from lightening

    3) Forest floor catching on fire from a human cause.



    Notice that 2 and 3 deal with the forest floor. If there is a tremendous amount of dry fuel there, as there is now, it will catch, and the ensuing fire will be huge, as they are now. If there is a small amount, then it will catch fire too. But in a healthy forest, it will burn through the forest quickly because there isn't much to burn, so the fire moves on. If there is a lot to burn, as there is now, the fire dwells, and the stationary fire, and the heat cause living trees to catch fire. Remember, bark is fire resistant. In a quick moving healthy forest fire, it resists the fire, and all is well. The fire burns out quickly.



    Now this is not to say that the large dead trees won't catch, they may. But that is the second job of fire. Besides burning off the floor, it destroys large fuel before it builds up to dangerous levels. But here again, the fire resistance of bark (on live trees) comes into play.



    As for the third cause of fires, arson: If someone wants to start a fire, I don't really see how they can be stopped. But if the forests are healthy, then the ensuing fire won't be like the arsons of this summer.



    Before you tell me my logic is flawed, I'm not advocating that fire be the only tool in improving the health of the forests. Thinning them is important. All of my healthy forest fire scenarios depend on forests that aren't overgrown. Once a forest gets healthy, fire will keep them clear, and thinning won't be necessary for this reason. But until then, it is.



    I'm glad that your father is not Mr. Big Bad Corporate Lumber Dude. I wish there were more people like him. And I'm not for putting him or any other people in his industry out of business, hell, I like wood, but I don't like cutting down trees, so I need your father.



    But I guess that the point of my post is this:

    IT'S NOT ENOUGH. Fire is important, and it should be welcomed back as a vital part of a healthy forest.



    Sorry that got so freaking long. I got excessively verbose all of a sudden.



    [Edit: Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, learn to spell this very night.]



    [ 08-23-2002: Message edited by: Stroszek ]</p>
  • Reply 12 of 47
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    I love all these people who talk about "forest management." Believe it or not forests were around before we were! :eek:



    Rotting logs are necessary for a forest ecosystem, "managed" cutting sounds like a petty cop out to me. Quick background-I took AP Bio and I am majoring in Environmental Science.



    [quote]But I'm sure he's got qualified, smart people who know this stuff advising him.



    I doubt very seriously he was eating his Pop Tart one morning and it suddenly dawned on him, and that this is all his idea/plan.



    No president operates in a vacuum and without the advice and support of experts and advisors in their particular field or arena.



    How do we know that actual NFS people weren't in on - and helped come up with - Bush's plan?<hr></blockquote>



    Bu$h also has some pretty smart (in an insidious way) people bribing, ahem, "lobbying" him. They don't work for him, he works for them. Grab a recent newspaper to "Harken" back to this. [quote]As Chuck Lewis of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity delicately put it, Mr. Bush "has more familiarity with troubled energy companies and accounting irregularities than probably any previous chief executive."<hr></blockquote>

    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

    How about Halliburton too? I heard Cheney was shopping for submarines?



    [quote]6. The "save the trees" people are out to lunch. Why would this industry risk putting itself out of business by destroying all forest land? <hr></blockquote>



    This is a good point. However what about the renewable resource called "people" that the tobacco industry relies on? <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> I wonder how many Big Tobacco execs smoke?



    Anyway... America is cutting trees down at a greater rate than the rain forest. Saying "tree huggers" are "out to lunch" is incredibly ignorant. They care about the trees, of course, but they care more about you. In my opinion if nothing is done Earth will be gone in less than a century simply because of environmental destruction. However I would bet nuclear winter will be achieved in less than 50 years, again, if retards like Dubya keep getting elected. No one can debate Bu$h as puppet of lobbyists. Go to <a href="http://www.edf.org"; target="_blank">www.edf.org</a> and educate yourself. It really scares me. No one cares about the environment it seems. It's like I'm fighting the whole world! People seem to care more about WarCraft 3 or their dad's job more than the fate of the entire planet! News flash: the entire planet includes, *us*! *You!* Someone alert the president, and the media!



    I never understood why the energy industry for example moved to solar or fuel cells. Can't they use the money they made from oil, put it into fuel cell R&D, and recoup the money later? People will buy this stuff! Perhaps since it's a chicken or egg thing the government needs to give them a swift kick in the pants. Oh wait, Enron et al OWN the government... Another thought, why can't the industry research a better building material than wood? But I guess the timber industry has talked to Bu$h too.



    Just my thoughts, let's debate!
  • Reply 13 of 47
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    [quote]I'm sure he has some ulterior motives for this move, but the fact is point #2 above is correct: some cutting of trees / selective burning is a GOOD thing.



    When you ban everyone from cutting in heavily forested areas for years at a time, it inevitably leads to more fires, not less. Also, fire - when it doesn't get out of control like it did in Colorado this year - is a benefit to the forest ecosystem.

    <hr></blockquote>



    I have read forest fires are nature's management. Don't like 'em? Move to a city. Don't like pollution you say? Hmm..

    Maybe someone should tell people to stop setting forest fires, intentionally, or by dumbly throwing cigarettes around.



    I have also heard, I think, I am not clear on this one, that burned logs are important for soil. Not sure on this one. But rotting logs sure as hell are! It's MUCH more expensive to not leave them there, and have to put nitrates there yourself.



    And cutting down trees harms everything and everyone. Noise pollution, light pollution, Mickey D's bags as sight pollution, and real pollution. Plus all the animals that wil die. That includes us in the long-run.



    There must be a better solution, we must evolve past using lumber as building material for most purposes. :confused: Anyone have a better idea?
  • Reply 14 of 47
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    [quote]I do, however, disagree with you when you say "Removing old and dead trees does in fact, prevent fires." From everything I have read and seen, your father is mistaken. Don't get defensive, that's not an attack on him, most people are mistaken when it comes to forest management. The way I understand it is basically the Native American fire system I explained earlier. The main problem is the fuel on the forest floor. Forest fires are caused by three things: Lightening, human negligence, and arson. Lightening will either strike a tree or the forest floor. I don't know about you, but lightening has struck trees near my house, and the tree is fine, no fire ensued. Granted the tree was alive. With a dead tree, it is more possible that the tree will catch fire. When it strikes the forest floor, whether or not a fire begins depends on the state of the floor: the fuels sitting there, and how dry they are.

    <hr></blockquote>



    Good point. Dead trees are vital for soil too.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    <a href="http://truthout.com/docs_02/08.23E.nrdc.burned.htm"; target="_blank">http://truthout.com/docs_02/08.23E.nrdc.burned.htm</a>;

    Truthout.

    Interesting site I found. Also interesting is how I found it: first result when I searched Google for "Bush Cheney Harken CEO" <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> *sigh* <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
  • Reply 16 of 47
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    [quote] Wrong. They are big part of the problem. <hr></blockquote>



    Old dead trees are minor problems. Go out and spend some time fighting a bushfire and you will learn that one. If you want to contain a bushfire you don't go after old dead wood you go after the stuff that has the potential to catch quickly first (I am oversimplifying bushfire fighting strategies a touch).



    There's a good reason why if you live in a bushfire danger zone they will say remove dead leaves and anything that might serve as kindling. You will never see a dead log combust when the fire is still half a mile to a mile away. Undergrowth and leaves will do that though and that's why if you are preparing a firebreak you go for the undergrowth first.



    Old dead wood only comes into it when it comes into the problem of a fire building up but that in and of itself isn't necessarily a problem. A large fire doesn't have to mean a large problem.



    The danger in any bushfire is the rapid movement and ability to expand, which in turn makes it difficult to contain. That's half the reason any bushfire fighter with half a brain is scared to death when you are dealing with a tree top fire and the wind changes. All of a sudden you can very easily find yourself surrounded.



    [quote]I have been around the industry all my life, actually. They have been planting more trees than they cut down for years. Given the facts I mentioned about there being more trees now than there were 200 years ago, you don't have a leg to stand on concerning sustainability. They have had these systems in place at least since the mid-eighties. <hr></blockquote>



    Erosion, salinity, ground destabilisation, sediment runoff and water management issues among others. I would advise you to refer to the sustainability and environmental reports of the companies involved because they disagree with you. There is no industry that springs quickly to my mind that has reached sustainable operations yet. Some are getting closer but none are there (that I can recall at least).



    In mid-september I will be attending a conference on issues confronting sustainability in the lumber and agricultural industries addressing the government's policies in relation to the matter and industry's steps. Sorry nobody agrees logging is sustainable as it currently operates, at least not yet.



    [quote] And, "Trees aren't necessarily a renewable resource"????? What the hell are you talking about? I'd like some backing on that one, because that statement is INSANE. <hr></blockquote>



    Whether on not tree growth is renewable for a given area is largely dependent on the management of the area. It has been all too common in the past to clear the land and use it for something else. These days they manage it a little differently but there are still faults in the management systems.



    It is also debateable as to whether a resource that takes a generation to renew can be considered truly renewable without very good management procedures in place, which by and large still don't exist despite improvements being made.



    [quote] So wait, you are saying that they went of business because they had a bad crop???? Well, I'm pretty sure they went bust because federal regulations were passed that DIDN'T LET THEM CUT ANY FREAKING TREES DOWN. Perhaps that's why those mills aren't there anymore? <hr></blockquote>



    I thought you were referring to the bushfire putting them out of business but I can address this too. I'll do it by referring to some of my work, which I usually wouldn't do.



    A few weeks back I had a company come in to me (not mentioning names for a very obvious reason) and say, "We just made significant investments into producing this chemical 10 years back and we're now expecting a 10 fold reduction in demand of this product within the next 3 - 5. We don't want to lose our investments for this infrastructure what can we do?".



    My company is now consulting with these people on how they can develop a business model for the future where they stay in this business while remaining competitive and minimising lost capital investments.



    This company knows there is a reduction of demand and likely production limits coming and they are planning ahead. That's how successful businesses stay in business. Climates and regulations are constantly changing and you have to expect cutbacks and stricter regulation and plan with that in mind.



    In this company's case the infrastructure will go to other purposes. The lumber industry was hit with the same production cuts but instead their solution was to close the saw mills. That's just how business is especially in some of these more environmentally damaging industries.



    [ 08-23-2002: Message edited by: Telomar ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 47
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    [quote]Originally posted by Stroszek:

    <strong>

    Agreed. Luckily, we don't have to deal with exploding eucalpyts though.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    It isn't that major a problem although it can be troublesome. It is an impressive sight though I got to see one right on top of a valley go during the sydney fires and it's amazing the effect it has.



    That said don't start going around setting eucalypt forests alight so you can watch. I would rather not see that
  • Reply 18 of 47
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    In general, this reminds me a lot of Bush's solution to the "oil crisis" - to drill for more oil in the wildlife refuge. Sure, it'll help. But the solution is coincidentally consistent with industry wishes, and no complete plan is proposed that might contain some solutions inconsistent with industry wishes.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    g4dudeg4dude Posts: 1,016member
    Forest fires are going to happen no matter what we do; and they should. When we log, twice the trees are planted in the place where the logging occured. This has led to un-naturally dense forests. This is a FACT, and there is no way to deny it. Bush is completely right when he says that thinning the forests will help. With less fuel, there will be smaller fires. That is also a FACT. It is no coincidence to me that the two largest fires this year were in once heavily logged areas of Arizona and Oregon. What does this show? That the policy of planting more trees than naturally grow in one place HARMS the environment. So them tree huggers need to see that the goal should not be to plant as many trees as possible. Bush's plan of forest management makes complete sense. And for those of you that say he is doing it because he's the timber industry's bitch, I say this. It needs to be done and it doesn't matter what his motive is but furthermore, stop always assuming that he just doesn't have the good of the country in his mind when he makes these policies. I think it's pitiful how everyone equates Republican with corporate bitch. He's doing something to help protect the forests and it STILL doesn't make you happy! This guy could tear down all the dams and save all the salmon in America and the liberals and "tree huggers" would still complain!
  • Reply 20 of 47
    stroszekstroszek Posts: 801member
    [quote]Originally posted by Telomar:

    <strong>That said don't start going around setting eucalypt forests alight so you can watch. I would rather not see that </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Oh, whooops. Could someone hand me a hose?

    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
Sign In or Register to comment.