Yesterday I was driving in the woods of Crocker Pond State Park and was shocked by the amount of logging done there by the US Forest Service.  It was a precursor of an even larger-scale project set to take place in my immediate area of the White Mountain National Forest within the next one to two years, called the Albany South Project.  The forest service insists that logging is necessary to increase and improve the foraging habitat for wildlife and better balance the ecosystem.  They also say that there hasn’t been a major forest fire here in decades, and that with the heavy free growth it’s an accident waiting to happen, so thinning and removal of brush must ensue. While all that sounds reasonable, their methods may not be.  There are different types of logging:  selective cutting, in which specific trees are marked for removal, which thins the area yet does not drastically alter the landscape, and clear-cutting, which is the logging version of strip mining.  Entire swaths are wiped of trees, leaving mountainsides bare and the resulting dumped branches that are left behind make the area uninhabitable for most animals, and prevent regrowth and renewal.  When cut by the clear-cut method, trees are not a renewable resource as is so commonly touted.  (This link gives a good explanation of logging techniques and their impact on the landscape and environment.) So why does the Forest Service practice clear-cutting?  It’s less costly, takes less time, and more wood can be harvested for sale.  That’s right – the logs are collected and sold as lumber for the furniture, construction and paper making/pulp industries, to boost the limited budget of the Forest Service.  The question is, to whom are these logs sold?  China is a major customer of the US Forest Service, either directly or indirectly. It appears that both the buck and bucksaw stop here.

To find out more about the Albany South Project:  www.facebook.com/Albany-South-Project-146841855516421/  and http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_project_exp.php?project=39614

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