I think that this may be the first TSW link to the Wine Enthusiast. Turns out that for barrel staves, white oak trees need to be 80 to 100 years. And some of the practices to keep white oak in the mix for future generations include “crop tree release”, which might involve cutting old trees of white oak and other species. But white oaks are important for wildlife and biodiversity, so we definitely want to keep them the mix.
Suppose that there were a policy that no 80 year old trees could be cut on the national forests that have white oak? Looks like people are seriously concerned about losing that species, due to competition from other species, as well as other factors. Yes- if you don’t cut them, they will be around longer; but it looks like if you leave the stands alone in many cases you won’t get white oak back. Suppose the old white oaks die naturally; but then the formerly understory species would be old, and you couldn’t cut them either. So adios white oak on national forests?
Anyway, for those unaware of the White Oak Initiative, IMHO those folks have done a tremendous job of bringing researchers, practitioners and landowners together to figure out what the species needs and how to manage for it. It’s really an impressive effort. I don’t know whether any people or groups are against it. Maybe because success depends on private landowners, it’s not so ideological as our own western debates.