Friday, March 21, 2014
California's most devastating fire, the Yosemite Rim Fire left millions of board feet of trees lying on the ground. Our local district representative, McClintock, pushed to fast track getting that lumber to market before it disintegrated. He pointed out that it would provide jobs and money to locals, open up the mills again and put loggers to work. Good idea.
In past fires, smaller ones in our county, locals brought out volumes of wood for profit. Volunteers cut up gobs of it for firewood for seniors or people in need. Some of it got to local mills. Some disintegrated on the ground which isn't all bad, since fire blackened areas recuperate faster when the dead timber is left in place, or at least part of it.
Guess what? SPI went in and machine removed that timber very quickly. It is now sitting on a dock in Stockton to be barged to Oakland to be exported to China and Japan. So much for opening local mills. There were people who yelled it wouldn't happen when McClintock was making his "heroic pitch." They were right, of course. It is all about big corporate profits, not about local communities.
I love trees and wonder if man has a cog in the brain that dictates let no living thing go untrammeled by we superior beings. The little cog shaped like a dollar sign. It started early, with the giant redwoods. Falling the biggest and most magnificent tree to prove they could do it. The wood unusable because they had no saws or equipment big enough to handle trees of such size.
Now that we know forests are carbon sinks and necessary to help halt global warming, it doesn't seem to discourage decimating private forest and allowing lumbering on a major scale in National Forests, too. The U.S. Forest Service has sold out to lumber interests all over the country, contrary to what they say.
Politicians see money and workers see job preservation.
There is a 501c3 organization trying to hold up Forest Service Ethics, made up of some Forest Service Employees. Obviously employees serving see a need for this organization or it wouldn't exist.
Homes to critters.
Used as fence posts, here the barbed wire has grown into the tree. Some cottonwood trees in plains states are cut, put into the ground immediately, take root and grow into a living fence.
Enjoy them while you can and remember to protect these wonders of nature if you have an opportunity. I burn wood, but I hate cutting trees and only burn what gets damaged by storms and fits in my stove. I rarely have a fire to clear brush or dead wood, only twice in over 30 years. I leave most of it on the ground to naturally decay. Many others do the same, or hire a chipper.