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Chipping away at logging plan

June 9, 2013

By BEN CARPENTER In Chautauqua County, we know forests....

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Jun-09-13 2:52 AM

Just take a good look at what's left of Pomfret Park on Glasgow Road at the northern end of Cassadaga Lake to see what mess is left behind after logging. It will take 25 years of growth to recover enough canopy to call that place a forest again. It's a God awful mess and for what? A small amount of revenue in a depressed lumber market.

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Jun-09-13 8:10 AM

I guess the writer would have had a hard time when the early settlers arrived here. the trees were simply cut down, not for the wood, but for the ashes. It was the cash crop.I know people who have logged 275 year old trees, so the do gooders would not get a law passed preserving them.saving the planet or other such nonsense. The forest will regenerate, if the deer are killed off. Cut the trees down. Let nature do its thing and regenerate. It will happen folks, it actually will !baby trees grow real fast. The forest people say so and i have seen the evidence.

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Jun-09-13 8:19 AM

Unregulated logging is destructive. If you plan on logging out your property,hire a forestry consultant. It is well worth the 10% fee. I now have a much nicer forest that I can walk through and since the younger trees are much more exposed to sunlight they are flourishing.

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Jun-09-13 10:05 AM

For some reason people believe that the cutting of mature timber means the end of the forest but that's simply untrue. If you make the effort to observe hardwood forest regeneration after only as little as a year you'll find it amazing, after two or three years, astounding. Many species of animals benefit directly from the opening of the old canopy and regeneration. As jeow mentions, the key to using our timber resources is to do it properly. True, a recently logged forest looks shockingly different, but that doesn't mean that its been destroyed by any means; its merely in transition. Understand too that today's "mature" timber stand IS NOT "ancient" growth as many believe. In fact virtually every acre of our local hardwood timber land has been cut over at least a half dozen times during the last two centuries. Much of it was turned into open agricultural land and is now regenerated back into forest.

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Jun-09-13 11:51 AM

Old growth forests are dark and slow growing, which produces tight grained wood. The grain is what makes it so valuable. Once you log and open the forest floor to more light, those trees left behind grow fast and produce less valuable wood. Also, the weaker trees as well as those damaged from the logging process are 2nd growth with more defects and again, less valuable. Considering the condition of all the other woodlands in the area, does it make sense to reduce one of the finest old growth forest to a second rate tree farm? Why not leave this 200 acres alone for future study as a living classroom. There are plenty of other woodlands to rape and pillage.

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Jun-09-13 12:38 PM

Is the forest in question truly "old growth" (defined to be at least 180 years old by most accepted s standards) or merely the regenerated growth commonly found, now matured enough to resemble old growth? When first settled by Europeans, much of the area was "virgin" white pine forest; after that was logged off in the 1800's the now dominant hardwood grew up in its place. To be certain, IF the forest in question is true "old growth" hardwood, especially if it is a rare, original, previously undisturbed, "pre-Columbian" tract, it should definitely be left "as is" for study purposes. Or is this simply growth regenerated from open farmland which was abandoned in the 1st half of the 20th century?

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Jun-09-13 2:11 PM

Unless it was too wet or steep, most land in the area has been put to the plow or pasture at one time or another in the past two hundred years. I'm often amazed that cows could graze on some of it without falling off the hillside! If you want to get some idea as to how much forest had been converted to farmland by the end of the 19th century look the archive section of Erie County's official website; the 1926 Photographic Aerial Road Survey. Even by the 1920's a large % of previously cleared farmland had been abandoned and was in a state of regeneration, as can be seen on the photos. Most people are convinced that the tract of forest behind their homes has been there since pre-Columbian times, when in fact it was a cow pasture or corn field just 85 years ago. No doubt the same situation holds true in Chautauqua County.

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Jun-09-13 3:56 PM

Probably the biggest threat, logging wise, are these "fly by night" operators that don't own more than their saws. They rent the skidder, contract the hauling and commonly short change the property owner. They're ones fully intending to snatch the neighbor's very valuable walnut logs just across the common "back forty" line. They rip everything apart because they couldn't care less about thinking thirty years down the road. And when they do get caught and hauled into court, it'll be discovered that they've maneuvered themselves into a position of "beyond judgment", so there's little chance that aggrieved property owner will ever see a single penny of the court's monetary judgment decree. This situation is all too common if the property owner doesn't first seek advise from a certified forestry professional. An elderly relative of mine found out the hard way.

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Jun-09-13 6:37 PM

Excellent article.

Good for you to bring this to the attention of the public. A meeting will be held, we have all been told, for public input on this proposal. I hope many will show up and voice their opinions. The College Lodge is very important to many of us that live in this area.

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Jun-09-13 8:13 PM

Excellent article. I have always treasured the College Lodge as a great natural area. Maybe the forest was given to be left as a preserve... If so then it should be left as it is. It is a great benefit for the community and especially for classroom work as elementary school from all over visit it each year along with the University students. What other property in the area has so much to offer just as it is?

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Jun-10-13 9:43 AM

007 got it right. A recently cut forest looks terrible. But trees like other cops must be harvested. The activists just go into fits when a logger arrives. The do gooders in Europe want American wood to burn for electricity to reduce their use of coal. You gotta hand it to the libs, hypocrites all the time.

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Jun-11-13 9:01 AM

All of a sudden Stiener unintelligently turns it into a "libs" vs whatever he is controversy, obviously without knowing the facts. 007 may have the history of forestry of Chaut. Co. correct but still, it doesn't have a lot to do with the facts here. Neither read the plan, obvious, yet have so much to write about it. Why not "chip away" at the false statements and persue the facts of the matter and the situation at hand at the College Lodge because that is what this is about.

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Jun-15-13 3:38 PM

I think everyone should know by now to ignore steiner. Everything to him is a bipartisan discussion, a battle between the libs and the conservatives. Lets keep this a discussion about the present moment. 007 has good points, but not totally relevant to the issues. like rattle says, go read the actual plan. You can find resources on the "Friends of the SUNY Fredonia College Lodge" facebook group.

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