While the New York Times puts an anti-profit spin on the operation, the value of thinning forests comes through in an upbeat article by Cara Buckler.
The Menominee, Wisconsin, tribe has had a “sustainable” forest for 160 years., she says. A big part of that success comes from culling the weaker trees, providing space for other trees to grow taller and thicker. That even leads to a 5 percent premium price for the wood! It undoubtedly also reduces forest fires.
The story’s news peg is that there is a decline in workers who want to cut down trees and this could harm the whole forest, which covers about 235,000 acres.
“’In a way, we’re fighting modernization, because nobody wants to pick up a manual handsaw,” said John Awonohopay, lumber operations manager for Menominee Tribal Enterprises, the company that oversees the forest. “Think of it as a garden. Right now we’ve spent 150 years plucking all the weeds, and have it pristine. But we can’t harvest the pristine fast enough.’
“Left alone, the forest will grow dense, stunting the growth of some trees and inviting invasive diseases and pests, which are already an increasing menace because of climate change.”
Image of sawn wood by Iwona Olczyk from Pixabay. (Not Menominee forest wood.)