Yet again, we, as Oregonians, have suffered through hideous, unending smoke. As a native Oregonian, it angers me to hear the news blame the mismanagement of the federal and Bureau of Land Management lands. There is plenty o evidence the problem is with the "fake forests" planted on private timberland.

Industrialized timber landscapes, thousands of acres planted entirely of Douglas fir. These are "pitch forests," a disaster waiting to happen. And it did. We are seeing this time and time again.

A natural forest floor is blanketed by a variety of ferns, mosses, mushrooms, deciduous trees and flora and fauna that don't burn well. This vegetation doesn't exist in private plantations. Industry's fundamental interest is money. Trees are planted too close together, equal age and height or, worse yet, stair-step aged plantations next to each other. They aerial spray these fake forests with pesticides and herbicides — or poison — to prevent natural growth of any kind. 

These are same-age trees standing too close together for either fire resistance or bird habitat. Fact: Young tree plantations use more water and lose more of it to evaporation, damaging trout streams.

The industry has mismanaged their land to death. It is affecting us all, and not just Oregonians. Something must be done to correct this imbalance. If the industry is allowed to go back and repeat this process, it is the definition of insanity. When trees are cut down before reaching the peak of their ability to absorb carbon, it stunts one of the state's biggest assets in climate change. 

The use of herbicide on clear-cuts and the lack of mature trees have deteriorated habitat for native songbirds on industrial and private lands. Streams for fish habitat and drinking water is drying up because young forests use more water and lose more of it to evaporation.

It will take years to correct the imbalance in our forests, but something must be done. Industry needs to be held accountable and make changes going forward. Vote for Kat Stone! She has a plan to remedy this imbalance.

Diana Larson

Myrtle Creek

React to this story:

18
0
0
0
6

(8) comments

Daniel

One would have to be mighty selective to find those "park like" tree farms. Most tree farms are so dense with blackberries and low dead limbs that even walking through requires a machete. The letter author is absolutely correct.

GwenO

100% Correct and this is only the tip of the iceberg! As a native Oregonian myself it angers me also that this continues to happen and people like Chris Boyce continue to Lie to us about it. Vote for Kat Stone. Listen to her plan!

Forester353

The author is, too say the least has a bias that prevents logic or reality to enter into her agenda. One can look at where the vast majority of the fires started and look at where the fires were finally stopped. Industrial forestry has been going on for a century, where were the mega fires during this time? One could jump on the Green New Deal band wagon and blame these fires on climate change as the Governor has tried or one could simply walk in the woods and look at the fuel loadings on federal lands that have built up exponentially for the last 3 decades because anti-capitalist have done everything they can to kill the industry that created the economies of this region.

Think about how you will recreate in the vast snag invested brush fields that were once our National Forests. Wonder down to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Southwest Oregon and see how the constant fires have spread outside the wilderness and have left brush fields.

The rhetoric of the Anticapitalist is and will continue destroying forests, critical habitat, towns and lives. We can only hope that the voters truly wake up and look at the facts and the results of the rhetoric that has been repeated for the last 35 years.

Chris Boice

Logic!

GwenO

Perhaps Chris Boyce could take you for a walk in his “park like” tree farm and you could discuss it like “good ole boys”.

Chris Boice

This is absolute hogwash. I can show you many examples of where private timber land is managed and under the canopy has the ferns, Cascara, Oregon Grape, mushrooms, etc. that you speak of, the trees have been thinned to match the available water and nutrients available, It is park-like and you can walk beneath he shaded canopy freely. Just on the other side of the other side of the section marker is land owned by the BLM, that is unmanaged, the ground is littered with windfalls, debris, and other dead or dying wood that goes from the ground to the canopy (ladder fuel). It is where the fores fires generally start and burn the hottest, the fire easily climbs to the canopy where the entire stand is destroyed, it does not burn slowly across the ground under the canopy. Private timber companies manage their stands to preven or at least resist loss from any threat, but especially fire. Unmanaged land burns!!

Mike

Commissioner Boice,

Just to be clear, are you saying managed land does NOT burn?

smedleyb

Excellent information. From my perspective the Industrial Timber operators have refused to discuss this issue.

They are more interested in $$$ or refusing to admit they made a mistake than in healthy discussion.

Extreme Environmentalists have NO say in State harvest laws and have NOT been able to stop the flow of lies from OFRI & DTO who are paid for by BIG timber.

Extreme Environmentalists do not profit financially from public natural resources so have very little power when they are being attacked.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.