Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Future of Washington Forests

I keep trying to give up on reading The Future of Washington Forests. Though I'm looking at the print version — the same document is also online — visually it's as hard to read as Wired Magazine. Colored backgrounds, curious design choices; charts that make no sense; enormous sidebars with no new information, just whole paragraphs from the text as pull quotes in shadowed fonts. I run into apparent contradictions and struggle onward. Total timber harvest has declined spectacularly since 1990 (see page 20 (6 of 34) of the Forests, Timber Supply and Forest Industries chapter, but lumber production is UP. Ah, perhaps because all other forest product industries are down: plywood, pulp, log export, etc.

You gotta speak their language. This paragraph appears to be about spraying with herbicides (I think):

"Private landowners practicing intensive commercial forest management are moving away from thinning young forests in favor of increased early vegetation control to promote fast growth and then harvesting at younger harvest ages. This reduces landowner costs but also reduces forest biodiversity."

The Forest Land Conversion chapter contains this stunning fact: "A 2004 study assessed forestland values for 38 counties in western Oregon and Washington and found average land values to be $1,483/acre in forest use and $165,947/acre in urban use."

1 comment:

samcandide said...

(I love Wired magazine ... )