Another Forest Leaving Forestry Behind, or maybe not.
I often talk to people who are thinking that they are saving trees by not using them, and I keep repeating that this is a FALLACY promoted by well meaning pseudo environmentalists who know very little of nature, carbon cycles or economics.
We do need to make use of our renewable resources or we will not be able to afford to own them. After all the owners of this land do have mortgages, taxes, insurance and all the other expenses involved in owning property.
When we don’t use our forests and allow them to pay for their own expenses, the owners will be forced to find a different use, such as growing crops or development.
The artificially high corn prices have been the culprit for many lost forests these days, as farmers are finding it beneficial to plow up their trees and grow corn that will be burned up in vehicles across the US. We could use another type of carbon and sugars to produce this ethanol, such as switch grass, sugar cane, or even wood waste, but we don’t because of bribes donations paid to congress by the powerful corn pac.
And then the other problem comes along, when forestland owners or their heirs look at the economics in our more developed counties and decide that it may be more profitable in the short term to split their properties into smaller and smaller parcels so that everyone from Milwaukee and Chicago can afford to own a tiny piece of Wisconsin.
It would probably be better to keep the property whole and just sell shares to all of these city dwellers who want to own a piece of our fine forests.
Nick met with a Realtor this week who has a client from Illinois who invests in forested lots that he can develop for housing and camping lots.
Most of the lots that this investor deals with are too small to allow much for forest management, but these two lots in Waushara County are still large enough to allow one final venture into forest management.
Currently he has two 14.5 acre lots with some superior trees on them, and he plans to further subdivide these into a total of 6 lots, making it impossible to do much for commercial forest management, the future management here will be more in line with arboriculture than forestry.
Though I wish that these properties would not be split up, I do support his right to do this. Because without strong property rights our country would be no better that some of the really screwed up socialist countries of Europe and Asia where government mismanagement has led to irrepairable damage to the forest and the land.
Since this is the end of forest management on this land I supported this landowner’s decision to liquidate the remaining Red Pine forest, especially when he voiced his desire to replant after the harvest.
Fortunately for the owner and the land, replanting will not be necessary due to a very healthy natural stand of White pine and Oak seedlings and saplings in the understory of between 1000 and 8000 trees per acre. With a total of nearly 100,000 young trees already planted and waiting for the older forest to be removed so that they can really grow.
So, though we are mourning the loss of this land for future forest. At least the owner is making good use of the old forest, gaining $25,000 to defray the cost of his investment. And releasing a fantastically healthy new forest of young White Pine and Oak that will make lovely shade and privacy for the new owners of these small rural lots.