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Thread: Western Forests, blue lumber

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Western Forests, blue lumber

    Hey, folks,

    You may remember, about a year ago, during a discussion on the future of woodworking, I mentioned the decline of large tracts of forests out west. I know my words on that issue were greeted with at least some skepticism...

    Today, I found this article which discusses the same subject:

    The video is also worth watching (pop it out for a full screen version). What I saw was in colorado, but there the problem is confined to a mere two million acres. In British Columbia, it's 33 million! Yikes!

    It really is something to see those sweeping vistas in the video, and to know that nearly every tree has gone from green to red...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Hey, folks,

    You may remember, about a year ago, during a discussion on the future of woodworking, I mentioned the decline of large tracts of forests out west. I know my words on that issue were greeted with at least some skepticism...
    No skepticism from here Bill. Thanks for the link, although it was painful to read. I have been keeping abreast of the situation for a while now. Hopefully nature will run it's course and rebound in the future. Kinda like the economy (I hope!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    We had an outbreak of the southern pine beetle about 10-12 years ago. We had similar conditions, several mild winters and drought. Darnedest thing I ever saw killed thousands of yellow pines in this area. Several paper manufactures had to clear cut several thousand acres of land. One lady I know lost around 250,000 dollars in paper wood not big enough to harvest. The foresters I talked to said that there wasn't much you could do. It just had to run it's course.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    thanks for the story bill, sad but true.. we have got some bug problems in our side of the sun too but nothing like that ours is killing the ash right now.. and the oaks have been hit hard with army worms from the gypsy moth.. its good that they are using the tres befor ethe go to waste.. but to see thousands of acres go brown isnt pleasent.. i have bben fortunate to walk and see many of places that were once all trees,, i just hope that my kids will still have that chance
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Here in Maine, in my lifetime alone (34 years) we have been hit with the Spruce Budworm epidemic, a hackmatack bark beetle infestation, Dutch Elm Disease and now are going back to a Hackmatack Beetle infestation again. Its painful to see the trees be lost, but it's actually just part of mother nature and forests.

    I've been cutting 12 acres of trees we planted in 1994 and 1996 because the hack we planted has been hit hard by the beetle. Its one of the reasons I chose to get into sheep. The trees were dying and I needed to make 12 acres productive. The Maine Forest Service pathologist said my trees were being hit at 3-4 trees per acre per year. He was way off. I have only cut 2 acres so far and yet the infestation is far worse then that.

    The Spruce Budworm was far worse and hit northern Maine really hard. Something like 11 million acres affected and killed them off. It was one of the reasons thousands upon thousands of acres of trees were clearcut in the 1980's. In the 1990's some environmentalists tried to ban clearcutting in the state, but they already missed the boat. It was not so much a forestry tactic as it was a recovery effort. Of course in 40 years when those replanted tree mature, it will mean thousands of acres of same-aged trees hitting maturity.

    Overall I don't get to concerned about forest diseases. Even with quite a few acres in trees, it runs it course, then changes. In between keeping up with it is just part of being a responsible landowner. Adapt and keep going...
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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