Wednesday, December 05, 2007

TPZ Dilemma

Unanswered questions I have regarding the whole TPZ thing. (I have my opinions on these but can't yet prove that they're true.)

1. Who takes better care of the environment, Industrial Timber Companies or smaller landowners?

2. Would the new rules proposed by the Healthy Humboldt coalition create a situation where Industrial Timber Companies are more likely to buy up timberlands and deforest them?

3. Where are the added incentives here to sustainably manage timber? I see a lot of sticks but no carrots.

4. Currently, the designation of "Industrial" or "Non-industrial" is based solely on the landowner. I have seen nothing proposed to indicate that that will change. So if Maxxam/Pacific Lumber sells 160 acre parcels (for $5 mil.) to non-industrial TPZ owners then the land is no longer "Industrial TPZ" and the new owner can proceed accordingly. How is this fixing the situation to prevent Maxxam/PLs reorganization plan?

I want non-industrial TPZ owners (and residents) to be able to support themselves through sustainable forestry. That includes new owners that can only afford land that doesn't already have a structure on it. The price for a THP continues to rise while the value of the wood does not. In fact it has dropped. A high price on logging equals more trees logged to pay for the logging plan itself. I think what we need to do is create a situation where the cost of logging plan preparation is reduced in return for less trees cut.

8 Comments:

At 12/05/2007 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

1. Who takes better care of the environment, Industrial Timber Companies or smaller landowners?

Industrial Timber Companies will always take "better" care of the environment. This my or may not be their choice (depending on what exactly "good care" of the "environment is) but due to regulation and the desire to continually manage timber - industry will have the resources to fix and maintain roads, watercourses, and large blocks of habitat. Small landowners will fragment lands, conduct un-regulated building activities, and generally not be managing on a landscape level.

2. Would the new rules proposed by the Healthy Humboldt coalition create a situation where Industrial Timber Companies are more likely to buy up timberlands and deforest them?

I am not aware of any Timber Company that is in the business of deforesting. Are you? Remember that while a clearcut regenerates a stand; it is still a functioning forest. Forest conversion (aka deforestation) is when the forest is no longer a forest and say converted to pasture, houses, or a new Walmart.

3. Where are the added incentives here to sustainably manage timber? I see a lot of sticks but no carrots.

There are none. Also - it would appear as if there are very few incentives for this in general. Try filing for an NTMP and see how much "incentive" there is.

4. Currently, the designation of "Industrial" or "Non-industrial" is based solely on the landowner. I have seen nothing proposed to indicate that that will change. So if Maxxam/Pacific Lumber sells 160 acre parcels (for $5 mil.) to non-industrial TPZ owners then the land is no longer "Industrial TPZ" and the new owner can proceed accordingly. How is this fixing the situation to prevent Maxxam/PLs reorganization plan?

I am pretty sure that there is no designation either way. Lands are designated as simply Timberland. Therefore it should be irrelevant as to if the owner is considered industrial or not.

*quick thought on sustainability*

This is one of those words like global warming that gets thrown around. I think there is a widely held misconception that most timber land is not being managed is a sustainable way. We all must remember that sustainable is a ethnocentric term. It does not exist in nature. PALCO may or may not be managing their company in a sustainable fashion - but certainly all of there timberlands (regardless of the age classes) are all still functional forests. There is a difference between these that is important. 100 years from now, it is likely that the names of the deed will have changed but the forest will still exist. 100,000 years from now there will be no names - but the forest will continue to exist.

Anyways-lol-If you cut down an old growth redwood - it can be sustainable - assuming that you care for the site for the next 2000 years. Thats a far-out analogy - but when dealing with a gigantic land base (nor cal) with an average rotation age of 50-80 years, it should be easy to see that forestry/logging in general is pretty much sustainable by default.

 
At 12/05/2007 05:47:00 PM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

1. Who takes better care of the environment, Industrial Timber Companies or smaller landowners?

That's an extremely general question. Not all small landowners are the same.

3. Where are the added incentives here to sustainably manage timber? I see a lot of sticks but no carrots.

Logging and how it's done is not under consideration in any ordinance being considered by the county. I agree people should advocate for sustainable forestry but it's not part of the question being reviewed by the county.

 
At 12/05/2007 06:22:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Bolithio,
I am looking at the land base of the Redwood Coast not all of Norcal. Redwood is unique to here, unlike the pine and fir that grow elsewhere.

How would you describe the differences between a forest and a tree-farm?

When I consider the past several decades of logging and the economy of Mendocino and Humboldt counties and the local stream/ fishery conditions, it would appear that logging is unsustainable by default which I think is why so many have a knee jerk reaction against it.

I don't disagree that fiber production can be sustained, but quality lumber?

How long have europeans been logging here, 200 years? How many rotations have we gotten out of it? How can we predict what will happen in the 6th or 7th rotation with no test case?

 
At 12/05/2007 06:42:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

JD:1. Who takes better care of the environment, Industrial Timber Companies or smaller landowners?

H: That's an extremely general question. Not all small landowners are the same.


They are not all the same but are being treated as such. I guess I was looking for an average. Maybe a better question would be, on average who causes more sediment to be delivered to creeks?

Who clearcuts more acres?
Who sprays more herbicides?
Who spills more diesel ? (including whats mixed with herbicides for killing hardwooods on timberland)

 
At 12/06/2007 06:27:00 AM, Blogger jack said...

Opinion: Monopolies Are Not Good for the Environment




Availability of Sustainable Wood Products Hampered by Certification from Forest Stewardship Council



Exclusivity Drives Up Prices and Steers Builders to turn to Petroleum Products and Other Non-renewable Resources.


FSC Exclusivity Could ‘LEED’ to Other Environmental Problems
Long before people in the “new world” began to understand the risks of dwindling timber supplies, European countries saw first-hand the potential danger of over harvesting.

From Germany’s proactive, 18th-century commitment to renewable forestry, to England’s reforestation efforts in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, many countries learned these lessons well.

In this tradition, The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) was founded in 1999. Stemming from the rich, long-time traditions of sustainable forestry in Europe, PEFC has grown to impressive, global proportions. Today, the Sustainable Forest Management criteria it uses are supported by 149 governments worldwide, covering 85% of the world’s forest area.

PEFC respects and integrates each country’s forestry practices, using a structure that works in tandem with local governments, stakeholders, cultures and traditions. Yet, in some circles, the PEFC and its European roots are inexplicably frowned upon.

For instance, in today’s “green” building movement, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is the most successful such program in the world. Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED system is now in use in more that 14,000 construction projects in 30 countries, including all 50 United States.

However, lumber used for LEED construction projects must be certified by just one entity—the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

As the demand for green, renewable resources continues to grow, why does LEED insist on this exclusive arrangement with a single certification scheme?

Both the FSC and the PEFC use independent third-party certification, providing abundant reassurance that the wood originates from sustainably managed forests. They include oversight by all vital stakeholders—member countries, non-governmental organizations, landowners, social groups and others.

Within each group’s framework, the national governing bodies from individual countries and regions develop standards with substantial opportunity for public review. And both provide clear chain-of-custody tracking and labeling that assure end users of legal and environmentally sound harvesting.

One independent industry consultant showed how the PEFC even goes beyond FSC standards when it comes to conformity with a number of ISO certification and accreditation guides.

This FSC-LEED exclusivity is especially baffling when you remember that PEFC certification represents about two thirds of all certified forests globally, which in all account for about a quarter of the global industrial roundwood production.

Additionally, many FSC certified acres are owned by governments or families focused on preservation—they have no intention to harvest for building-material production. And available FSC-certified veneers are often just a fraction of the number of veneers available through the other certification schemes.

It’s clear that accepting PEFC certified wood products would open a tremendous new resource-pool for the green building movement.

Here in North America, leading national forest certification programs, such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)—both part of the PEFC—create a central source for certified timber for North America. Combined, CSA and SFI certify more than 328 million acres of sustainable forestland in North America, versus about 69 million total acres certified by the FSC.

Limiting the availability of sustainable wood products drives up prices, prompting more builders to turn to materials derived from petroleum products and other non-renewable resources. Or they turn to concrete and other materials that require significantly more energy to produce, ultimately increasing greenhouse gas emissions and leaving a bigger carbon footprint.



Left unaddressed, all of these issues could lead to further environmental damage, something that I’m sure all of us—LEED and the FSC included—would like to prevent. LEED’s acceptance of PEFC certified lumber would be a significant step in the right direction for greater, worldwide adoption of green building practices.

# # #



Company Contact:

Doug Martin

Pollmeier Inc.

Portland, OR 97223

Phone: 503-452-5800

Email: usa@pollmeier.com

Web: www.pollmeier.com

 
At 12/06/2007 02:45:00 PM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Ok fair enough. North Coast as opposed to nor cal. Thats fine.

How would you describe the differences between a forest and a tree-farm?

Forest from Wikipedia:

A forest is an area with a high density of trees. There are many definitions of a forest, based on various criteria. These plant communities cover large areas of the globe and function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the Earth's biosphere. Historically, "forest" meant an uncultivated area legally set aside for hunting by feudal nobility, and these hunting forests were not necessarily wooded much if at all (see Royal Forest). However, as hunting forests did often include considerable areas of woodland, the word forest eventually came to mean wooded land more generally.

Tree Farm (from same source)

A tree farm is privately owned forest managed for timber crop production. The term tree farm is also used to refer to plantations and to tree nurseries.

In the United States some tree farms are certified by the American Tree Farm System. The American Tree Farm System was established in 1941 and is the oldest third party verification process for certified wood in the United States. Tree farms were established because of concerns that forests were being cut at unsustainable rates without reforestation. Traditionally Tree Farms were managed for wood, water wildlife and recreation. Tree farms were established as part of the conservation movement because of fears of a "timber famine." In North America timber was harvested in an area until the supply was exhausted. Loggers would then move to another area. It was believed that the term "tree farm" would emphasize the notion that woodland could be managed to supply a continuous supply of wood.

----------------------------------------

So a forest is a term that describes a community of trees. A tree farm is way in which humans interact with the forest.

I think when you hear the word Treefarm you think of a plantation of rows of trees and nothing else. Certainly there are places where this exists - especially in pine plantations in the south. Here on the North Coast agro-forestry like this is rare if not non-existent.

I believe that this is purely a function of the local environment. If you cut down every redwood tree within a 40 acre block and do nothing at all it will re-vegetate and return to a redwood forest within 10-20 years or so. It will be a jungle of brush within 2 years.

All "plantations" i have seen (thinking of the PALCO ones off the 101, or the ones LP planted at College of the Redwoods) inevitably generate a understory of brush which provides habitat for forest animals. Within a relatively short period of time mortality and other factors (blow down, insects, etc..) will create vertical structure within the stand and unless you are paying lots of attention you may not even recognize it is a "plantation".

Now if you constantly treat these areas to fight back the natural drive to turn back to what it once was - well then of course you will have a un-natural "plantation" void of all of our desired forest animals and vegetation. This requires some substantial effort though.

A typical 30 acre Clear-Cut will be planted with a 10x10 tree spacing. While it may seem like you are just going to have rows of trees - generally mortality, topography, and other factors eliminate this problem and within 10-20 years you have a young fully functional forest. It will provide all of the habitat elements for what ever likes that sucssessional stage. This will evolve and change throughout the life of the stand until - if allowed - it reaches it late succession stage again.

Am I rambling?


I don't disagree that fiber production can be sustained, but quality lumber?

How long have europeans been logging here, 200 years? How many rotations have we gotten out of it? How can we predict what will happen in the 6th or 7th rotation with no test case?


Now these are very good and interesting points. I also don't think they can be answered. So what do we do? One thing that we do have in our favor is 500+ years of mistakes to help guide our decisions now.

Oh on wood quality - we will never have the high-quality lumber that the OG Redwood had. That - from an economic stand point is absolutely NOT sustainable. I dont think there is any dispute in that. Good clear wood can still be managed for though, and that come from good management practices like thinning and pruning practices (and longer rotation ages IMHO)

 
At 12/06/2007 09:03:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

1. Who takes better care of the environment, Industrial Timber Companies or smaller landowners?

Honestly, I think the timber companies - under current regulations.

Stephen Lewis may be a nut, but he's right about the environmental impact of the subdivisions.

 
At 12/07/2007 11:43:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Yes, sometimes even nuts recognize the truth...

Were you referring to specific regulations? Stream protections? Road building and maintainance standards? Housing density laws?

Assuming this is true, it would be better for the environment if everyone just moved into town and let the large timber corporations manage the entire rest of the county.

I agree that housing density is a huge issue that can have a big impact on the environment. Roads are another. I have watched over the years as PL improved some of their road systems in the Mattole. During this same time I watched as a smaller road network in homestead country in the Mattole was drastically improved. No doubt large amounts of money were required for both of the improvements.

Only a few years earlier both roads were badly rutted, then at one point PL's road looked way better than the homestead road. Soon, both roads were in good shape. The point is that it may be harder, or take longer, for small landowners to fix their roads and maybe they need help, but I suspect the will is there with a majority of people.

It almost seems like a form of social darwinism if we're saying that those who can't immediatly afford to fix their roads shouldn't live there. How about some help for those folks?

I don't believe that PL fixed their roads due to their managers benevolence. There must have been some positive or negative financial pressure behind that.

How about some positive financial incentives for smalller landowners to fix their roads?

The Mattole Restoration Council is working hard to improve conditions in the Mattole watershed with their "good roads clear creeks" program but what about the rest of Humboldt? What are people eslewhere doing to improve the situation?

I know that there are also wealthy people that do not take care of their roads but I think that needs to be addressed in a different way than excluding human habitation from massive swaths of the county.

 

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