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altasnob
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 9:05 am 
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A recent report revealed the amount of old-growth forest still standing in British Columbia has been overestimated by more than 20% and most of the last of what’s left is at risk of being logged within the next 12 years.

In the report, the scientists revealed most of the forest counted as old growth by the province is actually small alpine or boggy forest. It’s old — but the trees are not the giants most people think of when they are referring to old growth.

Less than 1% of the forest left in the province is composed of the productive ground growing massive old trees, some more than 1,000 years old, including coastal temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island and a fast-vanishing inland old-growth temperate rainforest on the west slopes of the Rockies, unique in the world.

While the authors agree with B.C.’s official tally that 23% of the forest in the province is old growth, “that is incredibly misleading,” said Rachel Holt, an ecologist based in Nelson, B.C., and an author of the report.

“They are mixing in bog forests where the trees are no taller than me, and I am 5 feet tall, and they are mixing in high-elevation tiny trees. They are old and valuable but they are not what you, or I, or anyone else thinks of when they think of old growth.”
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Most of that forest is unprotected, and unless something changes in B.C. policy, three-quarters of it will be logged within 12 years, the scientists found.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/the-last-of-british-columbias-old-growth-trees-will-soon-be-gone-if-policies-dont-change/
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treeswarper
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 6:05 pm 
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Ski wrote:
The term "old growth" became meaningless a few decades ago.

Yup.

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Randito
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 9:20 pm 
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Old Growth is simply areas of forest that have never been logged. 

It doesn't mean anything more or less than that. 

Another measure that might represent your mindset would be the total number of board feet harvestable timber remaining.  That would fairly account for scraggly and inaccessible nature of alpine and bog forest.

But a better measure would incorporate some sort of biosphere measurement that would include the diversity of other plants and animals supported by the remaining uncut forest.

But more complex and accurate measurements don't make a nice bullet point on a Power Point slide.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 11:02 am 
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Wow, very sad news.   frown.gif
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 11:45 am 
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Oh, the semantics game, I love this one!

In a few decades, we can smugly look back upon this article and know that if the author had not improperly used the words 'old' and 'growth' adjacently, they could have single handedly saved the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Nero himself would not even be jealous of the songs we play today, indeed he would be ashamed. Too bad we do not share the same insight and perspective. Kiss the sh!t we claim to have loved goodbye, and congratulate yourselves on a job well done.
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treeswarper
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 12:35 pm 
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Ahhh, the old growth definition. 

The first time I heard it used, it was trees over 120 years old, then the age kept dropping.  I have heard it defined as 60 years old in one stand of fire replaced timber.   It did get logged just a bit.  This is it afterwards.

This area is finished.
This area is finished.

The goal of the commercial thinning being done on the GPNF is to restore the forest so it will have "old growth characteristics" never mind that much of that forest was burned up early in the 20th century.  When we have acres and acres of this new old growth, what happens to early seral dependent species? 

An environmental group persuaded the state to "protect" the old growth lodgepole in the Loomis State Forest.  That would be around 80 years old for Lodgepole Pine aka Pinus contorta.  When it nears the old growth definition, the trees become beetle food, die, and burn up.  I do not see how that old growth can ever be preserved. 

I've seen some 60 year old trees called old growth simply because they were of a large diameter and so, in the minds of lay people, must be old.  Not so. 

And so it goes...

Now I wonder which environmental group is getting ready to use this proclamation for more fund raising?

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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 12:46 pm 
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After paddling and exploring some amazing Big trees on Vancouver Island as juxtaposed to the car ride up to those paddling sites (there just isn`t alot or really any forests left alone up there; Maybe Strathcona PP?) and hiking along the Border swath for a long spell decades ago and looking at the north side of the swath as compared to the south, I tend to agree that the BC government could care less about its Old giants or pristine ecosystems.  Its really unfortunate....
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 1:06 pm 
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The one bad thing about hiking in the NW is there's too much nature.  If I wanted to see trees, I'd watch a David Attenborough movie.  Clear cuts are wonderful because they remind you how delicious Stumptown coffee is.  We need to get rid of the trees, fumigate the scary bears, wolves, and birds away, and build giant parking garages.
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 2:10 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
the old growth definition.

Semantics.

treeswarper wrote:
An environmental group persuaded the state to "protect" the old growth lodgepole in the Loomis State Forest.  That would be around 80 years old for Lodgepole Pine aka Pinus contorta.  When it nears the old growth definition, the trees become beetle food, die, and burn up. 

Some twisting and misrepresentation here in my opinion. Might have been more accurate to say "would have been" instead of "would be", those trees would be approximately 100 years old now. Yes, you have accurately described some of the potential outcomes that these trees may face. Ideally the only outcomes. On a related note, the expected lifespan of lodgepole pines is not included at any point in this discussion (or the echo chamber where the definition of old growth is debated), why?

treeswarper wrote:
I do not see how that old growth can ever be preserved. 

And here we are.
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treeswarper
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 7:26 pm 
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Doppelganger:


You are cherry picking from paragraphs. 

I was amongst a few folks who actually work in the field of forestry last week.  I mentioned the old growth lodgepole and it got a lot of laughter.

A rule of eights is easy to remember when it comes to lodgepole.  Now, this isn't exact, but is pretty close and yes, of course there are exceptions. 

Lodgepole is mature and ready for beetles when it is roughly 8 inches in diameter, 80 feet tall, and 80 years old.   The cones need fire to open, although I have noticed  that direct sunlight and a hot summer will also open the cones.

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Sculpin
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PostThu Jun 18, 2020 8:42 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
A rule of eights is easy to remember when it comes to lodgepole.  Now, this isn't exact, but is pretty close and yes, of course there are exceptions.  Lodgepole is mature and ready for beetles when it is roughly 8 inches in diameter, 80 feet tall, and 80 years old.

Nonsense.  If you are talking about the lodgepole forest along the Chewuch, maybe these numbers make sense, but to imply that it is any sort of rule for Pinus contorta is ridiculous.

Exceptions???

Lodgepole thrives in salty air along the coast and rarely gets to 80 feet there.  I have never seen beetle attacks in those populations.

Huge, old growth lodgepoles - five feet in diameter and over 100' feet tall - occur at 10,000 feet in the eastern Sierra and live for hundreds of years.  I saw no evidence of beetle attack there either.

Lodgepole mixes with black spruce at the northern tree line.  Those trees don't get to 80 feet and never see beetles.

Your "rule" applies to only one of many types of lodgepole forest, where high fire frequency combines with relatively high soil moisture to produce dense, diseased, short-lived lodgepole forests.

If you meet people who laugh at the idea of old growth lodgepole, you have met people who have never travelled to the eastern Sierra.

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treeswarper
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PostThu Jun 18, 2020 11:32 am 
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Sculpin, read again.  I mentioned there are exceptions.  That rule is not for everywhere, but works well for the inland areas where Lodgepole is the predominant species and is mixed with Western Larch, Doug-fir and ENGELMANN spruce.  You may find this habitat in the Okanogan Highlands and north into British Columbia, etc.  B.C. has an inland forest also.


What is Black Spruce?  Scientific name please.

And, just for more education, Doug-fir is considered to be the same species, but differs a bit between east and west side of the Cascades.  The inland DF, as it is categorized when prices are shown, has a rougher bark and CAN (but not always) be a bit harder to cut because of the slower growth rate which causes very fine growth rings (denser wood).  Eastside DF is often called Red fir.

The same species has to adapt to vastly different growing conditions.

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Pyrites
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PostSat Jun 20, 2020 6:39 pm 
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https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/silviculture/tree-species-selection/tree-species-compendium-index/black-spruce
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Ski
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PostSat Jun 20, 2020 7:01 pm 
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^ never heard of it before.
probably because it doesn't exist south of the US-Canada border.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picea_mariana
I have, however, heard of the Spruce Goose:


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Jumble Jowls
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PostSat Jun 20, 2020 8:23 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
Less than 1% of the forest left in the province is composed of the productive ground growing massive old trees, some more than 1,000 years old, including coastal temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island and a fast-vanishing inland old-growth temperate rainforest on the west slopes of the Rockies, unique in the world.

Big trees.   Protect them from the saw.
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