The State Forester’s Old Clothes

Before the new “green” suit was donned, another phony cloak was displayed by many of our past State foresters….

The U.S. Forest Service and Wisconsin DNR conduct a regular forest inventory of our state’s timber.  The statistics always are used to show off what a ‘good job’ the DNR is doing for the forests of Wisconsin.  Impressive numbers are boasted comparing the massive growth of our State’s timber resource to the smaller annual harvest of the timber industry.  “We are practicing ‘State of the Art’ Sustainable Forestry” is the brag.

If you know our forests, know our industry, know our forest owners, and know what the numbers really mean – this green-washing is more phony phorestry

The real story is that our forest resource is continuing to be over-harvested and high-graded in the majority of commercial timber harvests.  “Forest Destruction Goes on as Before!”  The timber available for harvest today is much smaller and much lower quality than a few decades before.  This past week I drove by a medium sized sawmill just west of here. For over 30 years, you could tell as you drove by at 55 mph that this was one of the worst high-grading outfits in the territory. All the logs in the yard waiting to be sawn were large, high quality Red Oak. All of them! Last Wednesday they were sawing Aspen!!!! And there were White Oak logs in the mill yard too. And the Red Oak logs these days are not all large and sound either.

The timber available for harvest no longer meets the demands of the big mills.  Our timber industry is crumbling and moving south or overseas.  Corporate profit-taking & downsizing is gutting our once strong forest manufacturing sector.

A compromised forestry ethic ashamedly is tolerated by the “professionals” to get something accomplished and protect their jobs.

Wisconsin’s forest owners know the real story – we live and work on our lands every day. Some forest owners have compromised to get a forestry tax break or free advice or another freebie from the government, but no one is satisfied or impressed with the forester’s attire.

Forestry in Wisconsin is Rotten – look below the thin layer of 'green' BSlime.
Our once great timber resource has been plundered and “forest destruction goes on as before.”   The typical harvest today is for short-term profit, taking the best trees and leaving the junk for the future.  The forest owner is not paid enough to make forest management practical or desirable (the timber grower is the only part of the huge timber industry that is not paid a fair wage or return on investment).  Harvested timber now typically leaves the local community with the major benefits going to a distant big corporation.  Imported manufactured wood products from China and developing countries now put great pressure on the U.S. timber industry to cut costs – and obtain their logs from private woodlot owners at even lower prices than before. 
You Call This Sustainable???

I know of one practical alternative to this quickly deteriorating situation….