Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Well, At Least We're Talking

Rayonier got back with me, for which I thank them. At least we're talking. My letter first, and then his letter follows, even though that's in reverse order. It's a blog, after all:

Dear Mr. Monahan:

Thank you for the response.

HOWEVER, I grew up in the pulp industry. Pulping trees for chemicals takes masses of toxins and water, in a world with a shrinking environment and resources. And do you really think that then taking the results and putting it into food - ie, salad dressing (as promoted on the Rayonier site) - is the best use of a resource or the best treatment of human health?

I note that, unlike the cuts of my youth and childhood, there seems to be no more poisoning of native species, and alders and other species are being allowed to grow back in. Alders, of course, are the nitrogen pumps of the forest. This is an improvement, but:

You probably did, indeed, follow all the proper, legal channels. But you and I know that "legal" doesn't always equal "best."

This clearcut happened right up against a small town, in an Audubon area, on a scenic route, in an area that, in the future, will have to build tourism and entertainment to survive, because all resources will take at least a generation to recover. Forests are, after all, most important as carbon sinks and producers of oxygen. If nothing else, because so many people here can't depend on electricity for heating and cooking and have to depend on wood, tearing out trees near a small town drops the oxygen level, which is especially dangerous for children and the elderly.

Another logging company, right on the scenic route, got county permission - all properly signed off on - to completely level an older maple grove in a state park. While this may be legal, and all the paperwork was done - was it not ultimately abusive?

Antique methods that don't take into consideration where it's done, including what happens to a resident top predator, need re-thinking. So far, no displaced, starving cougar has blasted into a neighborhood, which we've seen before, but perhaps we just got lucky. And no, the solution is NOT going in and just shooting the cougar before the clearcutting starts, in case anybody asks. Wiping out what we don't like has already led to extinctions in this area.

Perhaps it's time for a Florida company to hit the ground and begin to work with a distant state to learn what must happen for a real future. Before enough people in pain, with no future, get organized. I, for one, would rather see the former, because Daddy was a Teamster, and while we CAN organize, it's no fun for anybody, on either side. Better to use our brains and make it work. 

And thank you for your letter. It, and my reply, will be added to my blog.

Donna Barr

Dear Mrs. Barr,
Your e-mail found its way to me. I am the Resource Unit Leader for our Pacific operations. We have a lot in common. I like to fish and enjoy the environment. I got into forestry because of a love of the outdoors.
As an industry, we strive to consistently follow the rules and regulations set out through Local, State, and Federal law. This is our clear way of ensuring that we are operating in a legal and environmentally sound fashion. We conduct internal audits and 3rd party, external audits to re-confirm our performance.
The land that you refer to in your e-mail was prepared for harvest following all of the proper steps. During the FPA permit approval process, representatives from the DNR, WDFW, and the DOE made field visits. Once the felling began, our field forester made ongoing visits to monitor the harvesting and ensure that the instructions of the FPA were followed. I've checked in with him and he informed me that all aspects of the FPA have been adhered to. Felling of timber will likely be complete this week. The harvesting crew will take some time removing the timber, but this will start the reforestation process whereby you will see healthy young trees growing back in the coming years.
Bill Monahan

Bill Monahan
Resource Unit Leader
Rayonier US Forest Resources-Pacific Resource Unit
3033 Ingram Street
Hoquiam, WA 98550
(C) 334-224-9584
(O) 360-538-4568

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