Timber Bandits

  • Last year in Alabama, timber thieves stole more than a half million dollars worth of trees. (Photo by Randolph Femmer, courtesy of the National Biological Information Infrastructure)

The construction slump has meant
less demand for two-by-fours, but
trees are still worth big bucks.
An individual tree can be worth
anywhere from a hundred dollars
to thousands. And Tanya Ott reports timber theft is up
because of the economy:

Transcript

The construction slump has meant
less demand for two-by-fours, but
trees are still worth big bucks.
An individual tree can be worth
anywhere from a hundred dollars
to thousands. And Tanya Ott reports timber theft is up
because of the economy:

(sound of timber truck)

Timber is an important revenue stream for some areas. But from New York to
Washington State, forest managers say timber thieves have been pretty
active. Last year in Alabama, they stole more than a half million dollars
worth of trees.

State forester Linda Casey says landowners might have
earmarked that money to pay off the mortgage or send their kids to college.

“If they have timber stolen they just lost the only chance that
they have to achieve whatever goal that they had designated to use this
money for.”

Foresters say reckless timber thieves also damage wildlife habitats.

States
are cracking down. This month, Alabama will decide on tough new rules that
would make it a misdemeanor to even step on private forest land without
permission.

For The Environment Report, I’m Tanya Ott.

Related Links

CO2 Helps Trees Grow Faster

  • This photo, taken in August 1947, shows a load of white pine logs being hauled in Idaho. (Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service)

Climate change means faster growing
trees. Kyle Norris looks at ongoing
research that’s looking at how that
plays out:

Transcript

Climate change means faster growing
trees. Kyle Norris looks at ongoing
research that’s looking at how that
plays out:

Maybe you remember this from grade-school science: trees take in carbon
dioxide—that’s a gas emitted from burning fossil fuels. Then trees convert that
CO2 into oxygen. So with more carbon dioxide, trees are really taking off.

Wendy Jones is a research associate. She’s with Michigan Technological
University and she’s been studying young trees for the past eleven years.

Not only does carbon dioxide make trees grow faster, but warmer temperatures
help prolong the growing season. Jones says that could be good for the timber
industry.

“We could cut the trees sooner because they’re growing faster.”

For example, fast-growing aspen trees are used in everything from paper to
matchsticks. Jones says climate change could mean aspens could be harvested in
25 years instead of 35 years.

For The Environment Report, I’m Kyle Norris.

Related Links

Destructive Beetle Creates Blue Wood

  • These mountain pine beetles are very destructive, killing millions of trees (Photo courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Research Station)

For more than a decade, mountain pine beetles have been devastating

forests in Canada and the Western United States. Colorado
has been hit especially hard. Millions of dead pines are creating the potential for huge forest fires. So, the trees are being cut
down. Conrad Wilson reports, some business are using that
timber:

Transcript

For more than a decade, mountain pine beetles have been devastating

forests in Canada and the Western United States. Colorado
has been hit especially hard. Millions of dead pines are creating the potential for huge forest fires. So, the trees are being cut
down. Conrad Wilson reports, some business are using that
timber:

(sound of a beetle)

That’s the sound of mountain pine beetles hard at work, laying
eggs beneath a tree’s bark. That kills the tree.

Here in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains,
two million acres of pine trees have been killed.

But the same destruction caused by the bugs has also created an
opportunity.

The beetles introduce a fungus that stains the wood a unique
blue. And that’s caught the attention of Colorado’s woodworkers. They’re using the wood for everything from furniture to decking.

(sound of sawing and pounding)

Outside Boulder, a company called Kitchens by Wedgewood is using the wood for
cabinets.

Wedgewood President Jim Ames says his company started working
with the timber three years ago.

Despite the drop in the housing market, Ames says customers like the blue stained finish.

“People are starting to ask for it more and more. Again, as
we get into this green movement, everybody wants to see what all those
dead trees in Colorado look like when they’re turned into a cabinet door.”

Ames says, with so many trees being killed, there will be enough timber to make beetle
wood cabinets for the rest of his lifetime.

For The Environment Report, I’m Conrad Wilson.

Related Links

Lessons From Insect Infested Wood

  • A team of horses drags a dead ash tree through the woods to be milled into usable lumber. Tens of millions of ash trees have been killed by a bug imported from China called the emerald ash borer. (Photo by Lester Graham)

Ash trees are dying by the millions because of an infestation of a
foreign bug. In one town, they’re using the dead wood to help build a
library. Lester Graham reports the wood beams and flooring will be a
permanent exhibit to remind visitors of the trees that were once there
and the cost of imported pests:

Transcript

Ash trees are dying by the millions because of an infestation of a
foreign bug. In one town, they’re using the dead wood to help build a
library. Lester Graham reports the wood beams and flooring will be a
permanent exhibit to remind visitors of the trees that were once there
and the cost of imported pests:


Craig Novotney is driving a team of black draft horses, some young
Percherons, through a wood lot. They’re dragging a pretty good sized
log out into the open to be trucked away and turned into lumber. They
could have used a bulldozer to do this job, but that would have damaged
a lot of the other trees in these woods:


“It’s a lot less impact on the forest floor. You don’t ruin near as
much stuff, you know, getting it out with horses. It’s a kind of
lighter approach to it.”


Sixty ash trees have been cut down on this four-acre piece of land.
They were all dead, killed by a bug called the emerald ash borer. The
wood from these dead trees will be used to make flooring, wood trim,
and to be support beams for a new branch library.


The architects knew they wanted to use ash, as a way of reminding
people of this disappearing natural resource. But it was the flooring
contractor who suggested the ash wood they needed was on the very
property where the library is to be built.


John Yarema owns Johnson Hardwood Floors:


“We were originally came out to look at flooring and ash. And when we
told them we could use the material off the site, they were excited.”


Rather than just flooring, Yarema suggested the architects use the dead
ash trees for some of the structure of the building, so that people
could see the damage the emerald ash borer had done, a sort of
permanent exhibit.


“One wall – it’s a 90 foot wall facing the woods – all glass. So, in
front of that, we’re going to have trees, emerald ash borer-killed
trees supporting that wall.”


The trees will still bear the marks of the damage done by the bug.
The ash tree is a popular tree, but like this place where they’re
chopping down the trees, city after city has had to cut down all of
their ash trees in an effort to stop the spread of the emerald ash
borer.


Despite efforts to quarantine infested areas, the emerald ash borer
is spreading. It was first detected in Michigan in 2002. It probably
came in shipping crates from China. The pest already has spread to a
half dozen other states and Ontario. The bug is being spread in part by people
hauling firewood with them on vacation and hunting trips, and in some
cases by nursery stock being shipped out of the area.


Josie Parker is the Director of the Library District in Ann Arbor,
Michigan where this new branch library is being built.


“Because it’s a public building, it will tell the story of what can
happen and did when there’s an infestation. This building will always
be here. The emerald ash borer tracings will be evident in the wood.
So, we’ll be able to explain (to) science classes and anyone who’s
interested what happened to ash trees and why we need to be more
careful about insect infestations.”


A lot of the dead ash has been cut up for firewood. But some people
have felt that the wood shouldn’t be wasted. It should be preserved
somehow. John Yarema says it makes him sad, seeing the ash tree
disappear. But, he likes the idea of using these ash trees in a way
that might serve as a lesson:


“It’s nice in the sense that it’s in an educational facility and not
chopped up into firewood. So, in that way, you feel better than
burning it in a fireplace. If we can make a statement and maybe
somebody will look at it, maybe a child will look at it and say, you
know, ‘Wow, this is…’ because (in) 40 years there aren’t going to be
any. The only ash trees that’ll be around will be in the flooring, the
walls, the ceiling and in the structure. I think we just all need to
open our eyes and hope for the best, I guess.”


For the Environment Report, this is Lester Graham.

Related Links

Horses Bring Logging Back to the Future

  • A horse logger directing his team through a forest. (Photo courtesy of Troy Firth.)

Some forest owners are going back to past practices to do less damage to their land. Commercial horse logging is finding a viable niche in woodlands around the country. Ann Murray has this story:

Transcript

Some forest owners are going back to past practices to do less damage to their land. Commercial horse logging is finding a viable niche in woodlands around the country. Ann Murray has this story:


In a hardwood forest, Troy Firth points out trees he’s marked for cutting.


“We put a blue slash on the trees that are designated as log trees.”


Firth is a sawmill owner in Northwestern Pennsylvania. He’s an advocate of sustainable forestry and says it takes excellent silviculture and mechanics to harvest timber.


“Silviculture has been defined as the art and science of growing trees. Mechanics is the way the logs are moved out of the woods once they’re cut.”


Firth believes the best way to get logs out of the woods is with horses. He contracts about a dozen men who use workhorses to haul or “skid” logs to road sites. One of his long time horse loggers is Ray Blystone, a brawny guy with a long ponytail. Today, Blystone and his team of Belgian horses are working with Jeremy Estock, an experienced chainsaw operator.


“I just need to bring the horses to come around and get ’em hooked up and out onto the skid road.”


The chainsaw is really, really loud, but Blystone’s well-trained horses calmly munch on leaves. The massive caramel colored animals are harnessed to a small open-ended cart called a log arch. Once Estock has cut down a tree and sawed it into useable lengths, Blystone hammers spikes into one of the logs. Then he attaches the timber to his cart with chains.


“It’s basically just to get the front end of the log off the ground. It makes it so much easier for the horses.”


Blystone stands in the cart. He looks a lot like a Roman gladiator. He gently urges the horses back to shorten the chain and then signals them to get going.


“Git up Billy, Kate.”


The surprisingly agile Belgians step around chopped wood and low bushes. The horse-drawn cart and log make a trail through the woods that’s barely six feet wide. There aren’t any visible ruts.


Troy Firth, who’s on site, says that’s one reason he prefers horses over heavy mechanized skidders. He motions toward another skid road in the forest just a few feet away.

“We have a skid road that was used by a rubber tired log skidder on a previous logging job and the tracks are still here from 30 years ago.”

“So damage could last for 30 years? That’s how much they’re compacting the soil?”


“It will last longer than that.”


Firth says when mechanized skidders compact the soil, it can make it harder for tree roots to grow, and these big machines can do a lot of damage to nearby trees that aren’t cut. But, that kind of power also means that motorized equipment can haul timber much faster than horses and with less cutting.


“Simply because you have so much power, you can bring a whole tree out at once. It’s the mechanics of getting through the woods.”


Getting trees out of the woods faster can mean a cost savings of nearly 25% over horse driven skidders. But Ray Blystone says he has more work than he can handle. He’s found that more and more landowners recognize the long-term low-impact benefits of horse logging. And besides all that, he really likes his job.


“It means a lot to me. I enjoy being around horses, and it’s important to me that I do something for a living that’s environmentally friendly.”


Although no one seems to have an accurate count, there are hundreds of commercial horse loggers in the United States. Most work in the northeast and the Pacific Northwest. They’re part of a small but growing movement going back to logging’s roots.


For The Environment Report, this is Ann Murray.

Related Links

A Mad Dash for Trash

  • Penn State is luring people to its annual "Trash to Treasure" event with gimmicks such as going for the "most people disguised as Groucho Marx" record. (Photo courtesy of Penn State University)

Each spring when college students leave their dorms, they leave behind tons of unwanted furniture, rugs, and other stuff that just didn’t make the cut for the trip back home. At one time, it all would’ve ended up in a landfill. In recent years, some universities have been sorting out the usable items and holding huge yard sales. The GLRC’s Jennifer Szweda Jordan took her pocketbook and her microphone to one of those big sales:

Transcript

Each spring when college students leave their dorms, they leave behind tons of unwanted
furniture, rugs, and other stuff that just didn’t make the cut for the trip back home. At one time,
it all would’ve ended up in a landfill. In recent years, some universities have been sorting out the
usable items and holding huge yard sales. The GLRC’s Jennifer Szweda Jordan took her
pocketbook and her microphone to one of those big sales:


“Welcome to the fifth annual Trash to Treasure sale. Let the excitement begin.”


At 7:30 a.m., the gates to Beaver football stadium at Penn State are hoisted and thousands of
people run through six metal corrals. It’s a mad dash for CD players, stuffed animals, and other
remnants of college. Sixty-six tons… of stuff. What’s with kids leaving behind all this, and that
$215 chichi bronze silk purse – with tag intact?


“No one wants to take it home. I mean to fit all that stuff in a car – it’s awful. It’s really hard to
do. So I mean if you can’t fit it you might as well leave it and leave it for somebody else.”


Erin Horning is a college student herself. She’s here for the fourth year in a row.


“I was a freshman in college this past year so I came here to get all my college stuff from the
students that already left like irons, and oh, furniture….”


Penn State’s Environmental Strategies Team started the Trash to Treasure sale to keep leftover
lumber and coffee mugs out of the waste stream. Other major colleges around the country are
following suit, including Notre Dame and West Virginia University. Penn State spokesman Paul
D. Ruskin says it also saves the school 43-hundred dollars in hauling costs.

“We had a problem. We had 60 to 70 tons of usable material left behind. And the solution which
we found was to have this massive sale and to have the items donated to this sale. And to have
United Way take over and manage the sale.”


The charity brings in 300 volunteers who sort sale items over a few weeks. Bethany Heim
volunteered for 19 shifts. She and her husband are also first in line for the sale, having arriving
around midnight.


(sound of people in stadium)


“I came for a vacuum. It started as a joke when I started volunteering here three weeks ago.
And now I found THE vacuum.”

Heim says that besides keeping trash out of landfills, the sale benefits the community in other
ways.


“They have stuff put away for Katrina victims. I’m sure some of it will make its way to the flood
victims in New England. And just that it’s not on the sides of the streets – ’cause driving
through town when you see all the furniture from the college kids on the sides of the streets.”


Penn State tries to bring more customers in every year. The school’s Paul D. Ruskin admits that
the county market for box fans has already been saturated. So now it’s trying to generate
enthusiasm with gimmicks. Like this year’s attempt to break the record for the most people
wearing Groucho Marx masks. The effort fell 138 people shy. Still, the United Way netted 45,000 dollars. And as for Bethany Heim…


“I got my vacuum!”


And with happy customers like that, universities are starting to realize that selling all the college
student leftovers is good P.R. as well as just good sense.


For the GLRC, I’m Jennifer Szweda Jordan.

Related Links

A MAD DASH FOR TRASH (Short Version)

When college students head home for the summer, the unmatched dishware and stuffed animals that filled dorms often become trash, but a number of schools are turning stadiums into sale grounds and hawking the remnants of college life. The GLRC’s Jennifer Szweda Jordan has more:

Transcript

When college students head home for the summer, the unmatched dishware and stuffed animals
that filled dorms often become trash, but a number of schools are turning stadiums into sale
grounds and hawking the remnants of college life. The GLRC’s Jennifer Szweda Jordan has
more:


When college lets out, dumpsters get overwhelmed with tons of students’ belongings, but not at
a few major universities. Five years ago, Penn State started getting students to donate their
goods. The school invited the local United Way to sort area rugs and shoes, to run a sale and
to reap the profits. Notre Dame and West Virginia University followed suit.


Paul D. Ruskin is a Penn State spokesman.


“It is a solution that has no downside. It keeps things out of the landfill. It keeps down Penn
State operating costs. It makes nice items available to families at a good price. And it helps a
charitable organization.”


It’s also a big draw. More than five-thousand people attended Penn State’s event this year.
Other universities are reporting similar turnouts.


For the GLRC, I’m Jennifer Szweda Jordan.

Related Links

Easing the Ash Borer’s Financial Bite

  • Homeowner Frank Wydra watches as logs from 16 of his ash trees get turned into lumber. All of the ash trees close to his house had to be cut down after they became infested with emerald ash borers. (Photo by Rebecca Williams)

Homeowners and cities are losing many of their big, beautiful shade trees. An invasive insect called the emerald ash borer is killing ash trees in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana… and making neighboring states worried. About 15 million ash trees are dead or dying, leaving behind enormous bills. The GLRC’s Rebecca Williams reports some people are trying to ease the loss by salvaging lumber from their dead trees:

Transcript

Homeowners and cities are losing many of their big, beautiful shade
trees. An invasive insect called the emerald ash borer is killing ash
trees in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana… and making neighboring states
worried. About 15 million ash trees are dead or dying leaving behind
enormous bills. The GLRC’s Rebecca Williams reports some people are
trying to ease the loss by salvaging lumber from their dead trees:


(sound of birds chirping)


The emerald ash borer ruined Frank Wydra’s summer plans. His 10 acre
lot is full of ash trees… more than a hundred. Wydra built an
elaborate shade garden underneath a cluster of ash trees, right next to
his brand new house. Right around the time he and his family were
ready to move in… they noticed the trees were looking sick.


“They were here when we bought the property and we sort of built the
property, the house around these trees. I had no alternative but to
cut these down, because they were so close to the house.”


Wydra says he’s losing a lot more than a shady backyard. He says the
emerald ash borer is costing him at least 10-thousand dollars. That’s
the cost for cutting the trees down, grinding the stumps out… and
planting new trees. But there’s one part of that cost he’s not too
upset about: the 100 dollars an hour he’s paying to have his dead ash
trees milled into lumber.


(sound of portable sawmill at work and running under)


“It’s got a very close grain that allows you to mill it without too
much trouble. It’s nice stuff. I wish I hadn’t built all my
cabinets.”


Frank Wydra’s already got more board feet of ash piled up here than he
knows what to do with. But he says he’d rather pay to have the logs
turned into something he can use than pay to have them hauled away.
Wydra hired a company called Last Chance Logs to Lumber. Chris Last
brings his portable sawmill to sites like this one, and with some help
from his family members, he loads the logs onto the sawmill and slices
the bark away.

(sound of rolling logs under)

“We’re required to take at least a half inch below those two layers,
you’ll see as we open this up… just the characteristics of the log will
determine that… usually we take off more than that.”

By stripping away the bark and a half inch of the wood beneath the
bark, Chris Last is making sure none of the emerald ash borers will
survive.
Researchers have found that carefully debarking ash logs is one way to
make the wood safe to use.

Chris Last created his business four years ago, shortly after the ash
borer was first identified as the pest killing trees in the upper
Midwest. Since then, he says some of his customers have gotten pretty
creative.

“The neatest thing is a gentleman that was an architect, when he had
the tree cut down he left the log standing for about 10 feet, and what
he ended up building was an old English cottage house on top of this
stump. I guess he reads up there, but it’s beautiful, it’s absolutely
gorgeous, every bit of it, every stick is made out of ash.”

Last says he’s seen a church craft new pews from their ash trees, and
he’s worked for cities that have built picnic tables from ash, but for
the most part, homeowners and city officials are just starting to
figure out how to use the lumber from their dead trees.


Jessica Simons is with the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and
Development Council. It’s a nonprofit group that’s giving out grants
to promote the use of ash wood. Simons says the idea’s catching on,
but there are some real obstacles.


“To be honest, it can be a tricky proposition. What’s easier: go to
Lowe’s and buy lumber, or to have your dead trees removed, hire a
sawmill, have the mill come out, allow wood to dry and then be able to
finish it into a product.”


But Simons says milling ash trees into lumber can sometimes save money.
Right now, most homeowners and cities chip up their dead trees and have
the chips hauled away. Both of those steps cost money. Simons says by
milling trees on site, you can cut back on the disposal costs and end
up with wood for a new dining table or a bunch of park benches.

Jessica Simons points out that not all parts of the ash trees can be
turned into products. She says most of the ash wood waste from
Michigan and Ohio gets trucked up to a co-generation plant in Flint,
Michigan, where the wood chips are burned to generate electricity.
Simons says that is a good use for the lower-value parts of the trees,
like stumps or branches.


“But the only thing we’ve argued throughout this is that a number of
great logs were in that wood as well, and when you think about the
value that wood can have as lumber or a higher value product like a
railroad tie, it’s worth much more than what a truckload of fuel is
worth.”


Simons admits re-using dead ash trees won’t cut back a lot on the
tremendous costs that homeowners and cities are bearing to deal with
the ash borer, but she argues that turning ash trees into flooring or
furniture could generate a little bit of money instead of just adding
another line onto the bill.


For the GLRC, I’m Rebecca Williams.

Related Links

EASING THE ASH BORER’S FINANCIAL BITE (Short Version)

Millions of ash trees are being killed by a tiny green beetle called the emerald ash borer. Some people say all those dead trees shouldn’t be considered waste, so they’re recycling the trees into lumber.
The GLRC’s Rebecca Williams has more:

Transcript

Millions of ash trees are being killed by a tiny green beetle called
the emerald ash borer. Some people say all those dead trees shouldn’t
be considered waste, so they’re recycling the trees into lumber. The
GLRC’s Rebecca Williams has more:


Most of the time, when cities cut down their dead ash trees, they chip
up the trees and have them hauled away. Some people are trying to find
uses for the lumber from the trees instead.


Jessica Simons is with the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and
Development Council. It’s a nonprofit group that’s giving out grants to
promote the use of ash wood. Simons says cutting ash logs into lumber
can sometimes save cities money, because they can cut back on the cost
of chipping up and hauling away the trees:


“They’re also aren’t paying for lumber for other city projects because
they’re just paying for that wood to be milled and then they have all
the wood they need for projects like park benches or picnic tables or
sideboards for their trucks.”


Simons says because it’s a relatively new concept some cities have had
trouble finding room to store all of the lumber they’ve made from the
trees, but she says the idea’s still starting to catch on, as cities
look for ways to cut costs.


For the GLRC, I’m Rebecca Williams.

Related Links

Forest Service Takes Heat on Timber Land Sales

  • The pine marten is a member of the weasel family that makes its home in yellow birch trees. (Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Environmentalists and the U-S Forest Service often fight over the best way to balance between cutting timber for lumber and paper, and preserving wildlife habitat. Lately, the battle is over whether government just looks at each tract of land where it sells timber or whether it looks at the cumulative impacts of logging on National Forests. The GLRC’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:

Transcript

Environmentalists and the U.S. Forest Service often fight over the best
way to balance between cutting timber for lumber and paper, and
preserving wildlife habitat. Lately, the battle is over whether
government just looks at each tract of land where it sells timber or
whether it looks at the cumulative impacts of logging on National
Forests. The GLRC’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:


When some people look at a stand of trees they see lumber for a house or
wood for paper.


“Let’s go to the yellow birch.”


But when Ricardo Jomarron spots a stand of yellow
birch trees, he sees a valuable home for the pine marten – a member of
the weasel family. The marten is endangered in some states.


“The great thing about yellow birch is that it has a propensity to become
hollow while staying alive. So you have this wonderful den for pine
marten and other species to rear their young that isn’t going to blow over
in a windstorm.”


Jomarron is standing in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in
northern Wisconsin that’s near the border with Michigan. Last year,
Jomarron’s group, the Habitat Education Center won a federal court case
that has blocked timber sales on about 20-thousand acres in the million
and a half acre Chequamegon- Nicolet.


A judge ruled the Forest Service had violated the National
Environmental Policy Act by not considering the cumulative impact of
logging on other forest species. Logging not in just one place, but many
can have a larger impact on some wildlife that the judge said the Forest
Service didn’t consider.


But it’s not just the act of cutting down the trees that worries the
environmentalists. It’s the loss of shade that some plants need to survive
and new logging roads crossing streams where erosion damages trout
habitat.


The Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center is representing the
Habitat Education Center. Attorney Howard Learner says the case is not
about banning logging in the national forests. He says it is about
restoring a system that he argues has gotten out of whack.


“In part because the Forest Service was looking at one timber sale and what the
impacts of that were, and then they’d look at another one and what the impacts of that were, and
they didn’t look at the overall impact – and what was the forest rather
than the trees.”


The Forest Service eventually decided not to appeal the judge’s rulings to
stop the disputed sales in this one forest. It’s taking another look at the
cumulative impact of the proposed deals, but the Forest Service says it
didn’t approve the timber sales without getting advice from state and
tribal experts on water and wildlife.


Chequemegon-Nicolet forest supervisor Anne Archie says her agency
has done a good job. She says if you really want to study the total effect
of forest management, look back a century when loggers cut everything
in sight.


“70 to 100 years ago there was no national forest. It was shrub land and
burnt over grassland. Now the National Forest is there that provides a
habitat for the species. So cumulatively in 70 to 100 years, we’ve been
growing the habitat for the species that Habitat Education Center…we’ll
we’re all concerned for those species.”


But Habitat Education Center and other environmental groups say the
Forest Service still isn’t doing a thorough job of determining the impact
that logging might have. The environmentalists and conservation groups
say the agency’s follow-up study on the Chequemegon-Nicolet is like
Swiss cheese with many more holes than substance. Depending what
happens at the end of the current comment period, the groups could ask
the judge to keep the lid on the timber sales.


Logging companies that cut and mill the trees from the forest are not
happy about the legal battles.


James Flannery runs the Great Lakes Timber Company. He says if you
want to look at the cumulative impact to the forest, you should look at
the cumulative impact to the economy of the area.


“Part of the money generated from forest sales comes back to
communities. If we have no forest sales and there’s thousands of acres of
forests land that we harvest I’m more worried about the income of these
communities, which will be zero.”


But the environmental groups argue the broad expanse of the forests
need to be protected from multiple timber sales that cumulatively could
cause wider ecological damage. They say ignoring the health of the
forest ignores another important industry of the area: the tourism that
brings a lot of money to the north woods.


For the GLRC, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.

Related Links