Logging Is For The Birds… Vermont Version

Can it be that I thought of a more appropriate headline than a professional? What is the world coming to?
For those of you who have grown tired of pine beetles and fire, here is a Vermont story. Thanks to Derek for the link.

Here’s the link and below is an excerpt. There is a beautiful photo of a stand in the story, but the NCFP budget ($0, for the curious) would not allow posting it here.

Logging takes wing
Audubon Center, foresters consider sustainable timber harvesting – with birds in mind

HUNTINGTON — The call of a chain saw in a widely revered wooded bird sanctuary begs more than a just few questions. • What happened to good-old benign neglect? Aren’t the healthiest wildlife habitats those to which humans have given the widest berth? • For many outsiders, the three-year logging project at the Green Mountain Audubon Center in Huntington runs counter to that intuition. • Kim Guertin, the center’s director, considered herself among the skeptics — until she and her colleagues discovered that at least a dozen migratory songbirds (like purple finch, yellow-bellied sapsucker and the scarlet tanager) actually fared much better when they have access to low- to-mid-level perches, where small clearings punctuate the forest canopy. •

Standing in such a clearing Thursday morning, Guertin surveyed a landscape of stumps, trimmed limbs and brush, and knee-high saplings.

This is not an urgent rescue mission for endangered species, she said. To the contrary: Timbering in the sanctuary might henceforth be considered a prudent, routine investment in stewardship.

4 thoughts on “Logging Is For The Birds… Vermont Version”

  1. Similarly, a field trip in my ecosystem management course at IU took us to Nature Conservancy land in south-central Indiana, where the managers discussed their attempts to whack away at a landscape which is becoming almost a beech-maple monoculture. Their intent is to bring back lost oak-hickory woodlands, which research indicates is prime habitat for the very-much-endangered Indiana bat.


  2. I need to give credit to Bob Williams for linking me that story. Bob is a forester in New Jersey and has produced a great documentary DVD titled “A Working Forest…it’s future with fire, people and wildlife.” It’s loaded with the kind of “conservation” I grew up with. I’m tellin ya, the more I learn about Eastern (and Southern) forests, the more I think that’s where the “restoration” action is. Middlebury College in Vermont built a high tech biomass boiler to heat the school. They’re so proud of it one wall is all glass so people walking by can marvel at it. Bill McKibben, leading enviro and climate change scholar at the college,was a big proponent of the boiler. It took man a hundred years to log from the valleys to the mountain tops, and now it’s time to start over in the valleys.

  3. Good to see a little something about my part of the country, the east. For a broader look at the problem there and possible solutions, here’s a webpage that I did a couple of years ago on Mass. http://www.wvmcconnell.net/?page_id=382. The east is going down the same road as the west but maybe we’ve recognized the problem of non-management early enough in the life of our “young” forests to avoid the same end result.

    • Mac.. I think the northeast is different because of the land ownerships..not so much federal land. That means that folks can decide what works for their local area and power is perhaps shared more equitably among communities and landowners.

      To carry forward with this hypothesis, then, the federal lands in the West become the stage for working out our national ideas of “naturalness”. I am not a philosopher or historian, but I bet some of them have already thought about these concepts.


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