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WDSC 100 Assignment 5 (possible 25 points)
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Instructions
Concisely answer the following questions from the Forest Resources in US History text, Chapter 19 – 21
1. At the time of European contact, the Central Appalachian Forest was described as what type of
forest? What is it presently? And, what transition is it undergoing?
2. What are the four (4) hardwood market eras? What were the time periods and key
characteristics of each?
3. Describe the arguments of each theoretical ecologists and empirical ecologists in regards to
North American forests.
4. What are NEPA, NFMA, and ESA; provide when each was passed and summarize the key
establishments.
5. Describe “fuel build up”, note its causes and how it relates to fire suppression management
practices.
The Oak-Chestnut Forest
“Forests only exist in human
minds. Groups of animals and
plants that we call forests come
together for a short time; then
each species goes its separate
way when conditions change.”
Thomas M. Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 15]
The Oak-Chestnut Forest covered
an estimated 84,000,000 acres
“…found goode grounde for
corn and other garden herbs,
with great store of goodly
oakes and walnut-trees and
Chestnut trees…”
Henry Hudson, 1609
Forests of the Pleistocene
White Spruce Forest
Hardwood Forest
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“… oaks and the American chestnut defined
the forest because they were widespread and
prominent.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 262]
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“Even though the oak-chestnut forest that
Hudson saw covered a large area, it did not
grow everywhere. Other types of forest
prospered within its boundaries in places
less favorable to chestnut.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 260]
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
Slopes and ridges of the Alleghenies
“supported open forests of American chestnut
and chestnut oak” [Bonnicksen, p. 260]
Ridges also supported scarlet oak, black oak,
eastern white pine, and pitch pine
Coves contained chestnut, hemlock, black oak,
beech, ash, and some pine
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“Northern red oak stayed in those coves as
well, even though it could also have grown
on ridges, slopes, and valley floors.
However, frequent Indian fires forced it to
take refuge there because it is more
sensitive to fire than most oaks.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 261]
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“White oak grew in many places, but
primarily in scattered locations within
grasslands on valley floors, along with black
oak, hickory, and some white pine. This is
where Indians burned most frequently and
white oak is moderately fire resistant.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 261-262]
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“Ravines that cut through the valleys
normally contained settler species such as
maple, basswood, beech, elm, and
hemlock because the soils were moist and
fires rare. Hickory grew in the ravines as
well. Black walnut could withstand the
fires but it needed moist soils, so it also
grew in the ravines.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 262]
Composition of the Oak-Chestnut
Forest
“Even though oak-chestnut forests had
many distinctive features, they shared
two qualities that could apply to most of
America’s ancient forests that Indians
burned regularly. The dominant trees
were often large and few trees and
shrubs grew in the understory.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 264]
Ecology of the Oak-Chestnut Forest
“Oak and chestnut hold an intermediate
position in succession.” [Bonnicksen, p. 266]
Both species can grow in light shade
Neither is self-replacing
They “rely primarily on sprouting to replace
themselves” [Bonnicksen, p. 266]
Ecology of the Oak-Chestnut Forest
“…it took a special combination of fire and
shade to maintain the ancient oak-chestnut
forest.” [Bonnicksen, p. 266]
“…the ancient oak-chestnut forest could only
prosper in the presence of both light surface
fires and crown fires or hot surface fires.”
[Bonnicksen, p. 267]
Ecology of the Oak-Chestnut Forest
“The elimination of Indian fires from the Ridge
and Valley region would cause a decline of oak,
chestnut, and eastern white pine. The more
shade-tolerant red maple would replace them on
drier sites and sugar maple on moister sites.
Hemlock or a beech-maple forest would replace
the oak-chestnut forest on moist, fertile soils
outside the Ridge and Valley region, but red
maple would still replace it on drier soils.”
Thomas Bonnicksen,
America’s Ancient Forests [p. 267]
American Chestnut
Comprised 25-40% of the
trees in this forest type
Patches of chestnut were
scattered through the
forest
Trees could reach 10’
diameter & 130’ height
Most trees were in the 45 foot diameter range
American Chestnut
“… heavy crop of
nuts every fall”
provided “food
supply for bears,
deer, wild turkey,
squirrels, passenger
pigeons, and
Indians.”
[Bonnicksen, p. 262]
American Chestnut
Chestnut was a late
migrant into the forest it
later dominated – about
2000 years ago
“Scientists believe that
increased burning by
Indians to clear the land
for crops may have
triggered the change.”
(Bonnicksen, p. 265)
American Chestnut
Light, durable wood;
distinct grain &
chestnut brown color
Traditional Uses:

Fence rails
Construction
Barn siding
Kitchen ware
Furniture
Chestnut Blight
• Introduced from
Japanese (Chinese)
chestnut before 1900
• Nearly all the
chestnuts died off by
1930
• The wood, salvaged
from old structures,
is now in high
demand (recycling)
Land Ownership in Six
Appalachian States
(WV, VA, NY, PA, KY, & TN)
5%
Federal
11%
6%
State & Local
Industry
78%
Non-Industrial
Private
Total Forested Acres: 86.4 million
Contrast to Land Ownership in
the Pacific Northwest
(OR & WA)
Federal
21%
State & Local
54%
19%
6%
Industry
Non-Industrial
Private
Total Forested Acres: 51.0 million
Hardwood “Market Eras”
1869 to 1929 – The era of heavy cutting –
marked by widespread, large scale, and
somewhat indiscriminant removals.
Depression to 1970 – marked by low sawtimber
supplies and selective diameter/species cutting.
1973 to 1999 –increased sawtimber supplies
and selective species/quality cutting.
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Era of Heavy Cutting:
1869 to 1929
During this period the
U.S. moved from an
agricultural/rural
economy to an
industrial/urban
economy with
immigration causing
population and timber
demand to increase
dramatically.
William G. Luppold, 2003
Patterns of Clearing
Valleys and gentle
slopes were first
cleared for
agriculture
May have remained
cleared for as long as
300 years
Steeper slopes and
ridges were logged
later in the era of the
logging railroad
The Era of Heavy Cutting:
1869 to 1929
The extensive central
and northern forest
areas that had been
previously
untouched by
Europeans were
virtually cut over.
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Band Saw and the Railroad
“The band saw is an
endless belt of steel,
having teeth on one or
both edges, traveling at
great speed around an
upper and lower pulley.
The latter is attached by
belts to a steam engine
which drives the saw.”
Roy B. Clarkson,
Tumult on the Mountains [p. 23]
Forest Formation After the
Era of Heavy Cutting
The even-aged hardwood forests that industry
has been harvesting over the last 40 to 50 years
regenerated during this period.
The intensity of removal allowed shade
intolerant species to regenerate.
William G. Luppold, 2003
Forest Formation After the
Era of Heavy Cutting
Chestnut decline
Clearing, intense fire, and drought favored
oaks
Low deer populations
The Great Depression
A drastic decline in demand resulted in a
reduction in harvesting – the forests had a
breather from relentless over cutting.
Large acreage of marginal farmland that had
been previously forested was abandoned
allowing forests to return.
Yellow-poplar regenerated on many of these
abandoned farms and pasture lands.
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Civilian Conservation Corps
The Second Era: 1929 – 1970
Begins with the Great Depression, followed
by WWII, the baby boom, and ends with
the oil shock and the beginning of a global
economy.
Selective cutting based on diameter
(diameter limited high grading) and
species.
Heavily influenced the composition of the
forests emerging today.
William G. Luppold, 2003
Technological Innovations
During this Period
Roads and increasing use of trucks allowed for
a wider dispersal of disturbance.
Small mills. There was insufficient timber
supplies in most areas of the North and Central
regions to sustain large mills.
This technology allowed timbering of residual
stands that were not cut in the previous era (off
limits or too young).
William G. Luppold, 2003
Furniture was King During the
Second Era
Walnut and Mahogany solids and veneer were
big in the 30s through the early 60s.
Yellow-poplar was important as solid
(stainable) lumber, core stock, and veneer.
Maple was heavily used in the mid 60s.
Red oak was not used in furniture.
William G. Luppold, 2003
Long-Term Impacts on
Composition
Walnut, maple, and yellow-poplar were
removed at relatively high rates.
Red oak was many times left alone.
High grading by diameter was a common
harvesting method. This high grading allowed
shade tolerant species such as red and sugar
maple to regenerate.
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Third Era 1973 -1999
Increased sawtimber supplies as forests that
regenerated after the era of heavy cutting and
during the depression matured.
Floating exchange rates allowed exports of
lumber, veneer, and logs to grow.
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Third Era 1973 -1999
Selective cutting based on species and quality
(value related high grading).
Use of oaks expanded greatly in the furniture
and cabinet industries
William G. Luppold, 2003
Is Oak on the Decline?
Latest forest inventory (2000) indicates it is in
West Virginia
Why?
Heavy removals in 1970s through 90s
Drastically reduced clearcutting
Fire suppression
Deer
Factors we don’t fully understand?
Changes in the Composition of
West Virginia Forests
1961
2000
Other
26%
Hickory
9%
Maple
9%
Red Oak
26%
White
Oak
20%
Yellow-Poplar
10%
Other
24%
Hickory
6%
Maple
13%
Red Oak
19%
White
Oak
19%
Yellow-Poplar
19%
William G. Luppold, 2003
The Forest Continues to Change
WV 2000
15-19”
7-11”
5-7”
Red Oaks
19.1%
10.0%
6.6%
White Oaks
18.9%
19.3%
12.7%
Yellow-poplar
19.2%
9.6%
6.6%
Soft Maple
7.4%
13.7%
16.1%
Hard Maple
5.6%
9.3%
11.2%
Hickory
6.3%
10.9%
9.6%
William G. Luppold, 2003
Lumber Production in
West Virginia: 1919
Beech
14%
7%
1% 5%
Chestnut
Maple
15%
8%
6%
Oak
Yellow-poplar
Other hardwoods
8%
36%
Hemlock
Spruce
Other softwoods
Roundwood Consumption
by West Virginia Sawmills:
1999
1%
23%
27%
Red Oak
White Oak
Yellow-Poplar
Maple
10%
23%
16%
Other Hardwoods
Softwoods
What Biological and Market
Processes Left Us
Heavy cutting and land transformation
disturbance resulted in even-age forests
containing a high proportion of shade
intolerant (pioneer) species by 1970.
Later disturbances fostered uneven-aged
forests containing shade tolerant species that
are now entering into the sawtimber inventory.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Biological and Market
Processes Left Us
This along with high grading has potentially
reduced long term supply of higher quality
material.
During different periods different species have
been utilized at different rates.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Biological and Market
Processes Left Us
In the second era red oak was ignored while in
the third era it was heavily used.
The relative value of higher quality logs has
been pushed to a point where there are latent
opportunities to use medium quality.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Does This All Mean in
Terms of Global Competition?
Cost considerations may make production and
use of high priced timber less profitable.
This may mean re-examination of
underutilized species – something that has
worked before.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Does This Mean in
Terms of Global Competition?
This also means gaining more clear material
from mid-and low-grade timber – something
constantly discussed but seldom done.
In the past, technology has focused on how to
make products to fit the need of the traditional
furniture industry – long, wide boards.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Does This All Mean in
Terms of Global Competition?
Technology also was developed to get the most
from high-grade logs.
In the future, technology may be based on
developing production processes that can best
use largely available timber resources because
there may not be a pre-existing dominant
industry.
William G. Luppold, 2003
What Does This All Mean in
Terms of Global Competition?
Since the early 1990s, timber harvest on
national forests has been nearly curtailed.
This has created greater pressure to harvest
privately owned lands, primarily in the east, to
meet increasing demands for wood products.
Cause for concern?
Changing Ecosystems
• Environmentalists and some scientists express
alarm over the rapid rate at which forest
ecosystems are changing.
• Is the concern based upon scientific evidence
or is it a value judgment?
Sustainable Harvest?
• Based upon growth and removal rates, timber
harvest may not be sustainable some places in
the east at present rates.
• Will this lead to another era of migratory
industry?
Conflict over Forests
Featured Reference
Chase, Alston. 1995.
In a Dark Wood
The Post-World War II Era

WW2 involved a mobilization
and industrial build-up much
like the Civil War.
Returning veterans wanted to
return to “normal” – jobs,
families, homes, prosperity.
No one wanted to return to
Depression-era economic
conditions.
The National Forests of
Gifford Pinchot

The Federal Government would
control the majority of public
forests in the U.S.

Control would rest in the hands of an
“elite agency” – the Forest Service under the mission set forth by Congress
under the Organic Act of 1897
Local input and economic interests,
would be highly influential in setting
policy for national forests
Not everyone found this acceptable
All this changed from 1989-1993, but
the events leading to change began in
the years following World War II
Modern Environmental Movement
Theoretical modeling of ecosystems
Ecological Ideals vs. Evidence
“The evidence was
clear: random
disturbance, not
permanence or order,
govern nature.”
Alston Chase,
In a Dark Wood (p. 106)
Emergence of Biocentrism

Biocentrism

“Biocentrism” interprets the interdependence of systems
ecology as meaning that all living creatures are of equal
importance – of equal value
…as opposed to the more traditional
Anthropocentrism (Human-centered value system)
Biocentrism is most prominently manifested by animal
rights organizations such as PETA and ALF
Redefining the meaning of “rights”
1776: Human rights are “endowed by their creator”
or “natural law” and are “unalienable.”
“Rights” granted by kings or governments can be
taken away.
Biocentrism: If other species have rights equal to
humans, who speaks for the other species?
Do certain species have “more rights” than others?
Can governments infringe upon human rights
previously thought to be “unalienable” under the
guise of “protecting the rights” of other species?
Environmentalism in an era of
societal turmoil
Changes in the Mainstream
Environmental Movement

As Greenpeace and EarthFirst! grabbed the
headlines, the established environmental
movement was increasingly viewed as too
conventional
Older, traditional environmental organizations –
Sierra Club, Audubon, Wilderness Society –
responded by becoming more hardline
Successes of the 60s and 70s

Wilderness Act (1964)
National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
Clean Air Act (1970)
Creation of the Environmental Protection
Agency (1970)
Endangered Species Act (1973)
Clean Water Act (1977)
Prophets of the Apocalypse
Prophets of the Apocalypse
Paul R. Ehrlich
“The Population Bomb”
(Sierra Club. 1968)
“The battle to feed all of humanity is
over. In the 1970’s the world will
undergo famines–hundreds of
millions of people are going to
starve to death in spite of any crash
programs embarked upon now. ”
Prophets of the Apocalypse
Thomas Malthus
(1766-1834)
The carrying capacity of Earth
is not static
It has been increased by human ingenuity
The Greatest Resource
(or how one human can change the world)
Norman E. Borlaug
(1914-2009)
Borlaug’s Green Revolution

Minnesota forestry
1937
Ph.D. in plant
pathology 1942
Nobel Peace Prize:
1970
Credited with saving
one billion people from
starvation
Forestry in the Crosshairs
Controversy: Clearcutting

Monongahela National
Forest (1973)
Near Richwood, WV
Izaak Walton League
successfully sued the Forest
Service arguing that
clearcutting violated the
intent of the Organic Act
of 1897 by cutting
immature, as well as
mature, trees
Clearcutting vs. Selective Harvest
Controversy: Old Growth Forests
Controversy: Roadless Areas

RARE & RARE II
(Roadless Area
Review and
Evaluation)
Efforts to inventory
potential additional
wilderness areas
Controversy: The Redwoods
1985: Hostile
takeover of Pacific
Lumber Company
(PALCO) by
Maxxam
Corporation and
“corporate raider”
Charles Hurwitz
Enter the Northern Spotted Owl

Eric Forsman

Ph.D. student at Oregon State in
1970s tracked owls in the
Andrews Experimental Forest in
Oregon’s Cascades
Old growth: “preferred habitat”
Logging seemed to cause owls to
abandon nesting sites
Owls had “an extraordinarily
large home range” (Chase, p.
131)
Listing the Spotted Owl Under the
Endangered Species Act of 1973

The Fish and Wildlife
Service lacked sufficient
evidence to list the
northern spotted owl as
endangered or threatened
Environmental groups
wanted to stop logging on
public lands… they would
use the courts to get their
way
The Legal Weapon
Endangered Species Act of 1973

The snail darter case

U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1978 stopped
building the Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee
River
The Court “ruled that it was ‘the plain intent of
Congress to halt and reverse the trend toward
species extinction, whatever the cost.’” (Chase,
p. 150)
Established the legal precedent!
The Stahl/Lande Report

Andy Stahl – Sierra Club Legal Defense
Fund
Russell Lande – demographer at the
University of Oregon
Stahl obtained Forsman’s data through
the Freedom of Information Act
Lande based his paper on a theoretical
work involving pesticides and insect
eradication
Concluded that continued logging of
old growth would result in likely
extinction of the owl
Peer review?
“The Lande paper would set the format for much
science to follow. Nevertheless, on close inspection it
was an exercise in scientific wool-gathering, a
collection of calculations based on scanty evidence
and laced with false assumptions…. Using flawed
equilibrium mathematical models, Lande falsely
concluded that healthy bird populations should
persist indefinitely in a state of mythical ‘stability.’”
Alston Chase,
In a Dark Wood (p. 247)
What False Assumptions?

There were more owls than …
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