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Discussion Starter #1
The severe fires in the west and Alaska are causing folks to rethink some of the policies regarding timber sales and management. Here's an interesting article on the experience in one area. As fire explodes, the virtues of woods thinning emerge - Hungry Horse News: Hungry Horse News

I can't imagine being in or fighting one of those fires. Fighting a woods fire in my area is bad enough and we usually have fairly high humidity. Having it crown over and flash is just a really, really frightening scenario. My prayers are with those dealing with the fires and hope they stay safe. It does seem to make sense to thin overcrowded forests, have some clear cut areas that are also fire breaks and use some common sense on where people build homes.

Treefarmer
 

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Fire is a natural part of a healthy forest ecosystem. For eons, fires would burn through and clean up the dead stuff, the small stuff, etc. That's still the process today in places like Baja. They let the fires burn and as a result fires are much less common and end much sooner because there's less fuel to be burned.

With people pushing further and further into areas where they haven't been before, letting things burn really isn't a viable option and a lot of folks have complained about forest clean ups; even if they could be done, there's always the question of who would pay for it.

We've had a few days here where smoke from the big fires in the northwest would drift down and hang in the air. It's a bit unpleasant, but I'll take the smoke over an actual fire. Our big risk is a grass fire. One lightning strike, one careless cigarette butt and the winds can turn a small burn into a fast moving nightmare. We haul our hay equipment down the road to a rural housing development, we cut all the vacant lots and hay a lot of the properties. Even the owners who don't want us to cut their place for hay will usually let us make a swath around the edge of their place just to provide a bit of a firebreak should something happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice place

Hey, Tree Farmer,,, come on up and buy my timber!! :thumbup1gif:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSk6vW4U6Qk

I thought about selling it last fall,,, but,,, I never got around to it,,,, :dunno:

LOL, I grow trees and sell them too! It looks like you have a pretty place and someone has already done a pretty good job on select cut of the existing trees. From what I could see, the existing trees have room for the crowns to grow and some light should be hitting the forest floor for regeneration.

The Catawba valley is really pretty. I kicked around there when I was at Va. Tech. (Go Hokies, beat OSU!) :good2: I met some really nice folks there as well who took pity on a college student and let me hunt a bit. I never shot much but it really helped my state of mind to get out and walk away from people and get back in the real world. I know you enjoy your place.

By the way, VT has a very good forest landowner program with seminars and on line courses for forest landowners, https://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu/landownerprograms/index.html .

Let me know how the sale turns out. I'm selling some trees this fall but those are pine pulpwood.

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the very best way of forest management is selective cutting and to put pigs in the woods. yes, thats right, pigs. it is a bit labor intensive ( for about an hour) to move them from place to place and to keep them from making mudholes, but man, it is THE best pork you will ever eat!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting

the very best way of forest management is selective cutting and to put pigs in the woods. yes, thats right, pigs. it is a bit labor intensive ( for about an hour) to move them from place to place and to keep them from making mudholes, but man, it is THE best pork you will ever eat!
I know that was the practice in Virginia for a long time. Another one was to turn the hogs into the peanut fields after harvest. That was the origin of "Smithfield" ham. Sounds like you have personal experience with the pork and it's making me hungry!

Unfortunately, we now have a problem with feral hogs in parts of the state. They are very destructive, eating and wallowing large areas. We don't have them in my area, but they are certainly coming. When they do, I'll probably have to start carrying something beside a stick when in the woods. In the meantime, hunters are urged to pop every feral hog they can but that only slightly controls the population. I doubt those taste as good as your managed hogs but there's always sausage! :nunu:

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I'm no expert but it seems 'forest management' on the west coast has been 'let it burn' in some places. Don't thin, or cut the wild dry grass, etc. :treehugger: Now their multi-million dollars homes are burning down along with middle class homes and towns.

Nature will mange it or man can :fire:, but it's going to be managed and cleared out, one way or another. :nunu:
 

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I'm no expert but it seems 'forest management' on the west coast has been 'let it burn' in some places. Don't thin, or cut the wild dry grass, etc. :treehugger: Now their multi-million dollars homes are burning down along with middle class homes and towns.

Nature will mange it or man can :fire:, but it's going to be managed and cleared out, one way or another. :nunu:

The U.S. Forest Service has been going back and forth on this for a couple of decades now. Back in the 1920s someone decided that it was better to fight every fire and put them all out quickly. Then in the 1970s/80s, it dawned on someone that by putting all those fires out, the fuel built up and when those ares *did* finally catch fire, they had way to much fuel to try and fight them. So they switched to a "let it burn" philosophy thinking that burning small amounts of fuel every 10 or 15 years was better than burning huge amounts of fuel every 100 years.

The houses burning is another issue though. Hey, you build your home in the middle of a forest far away from the resources needed to protect it, then you take your chances. It isn't any different then people that build on oceanfront property. You gotta figure that sooner or later, a storm is gonna come along and wash it all away.
 

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I know that was the practice in Virginia for a long time. Another one was to turn the hogs into the peanut fields after harvest. That was the origin of "Smithfield" ham. Sounds like you have personal experience with the pork and it's making me hungry!

Unfortunately, we now have a problem with feral hogs in parts of the state. They are very destructive, eating and wallowing large areas. We don't have them in my area, but they are certainly coming. When they do, I'll probably have to start carrying something beside a stick when in the woods. In the meantime, hunters are urged to pop every feral hog they can but that only slightly controls the population. I doubt those taste as good as your managed hogs but there's always sausage! :nunu:

Treefarmer
Polyface, Inc.

these folks still do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Joel Salatin

Polyface, Inc.

these folks still do it.
Joel Salatin is pretty unique. He's got a talent for communication, sales, promotion and the perfect location for what he is doing. Not everyone wants or can do the direct consumer marketing he does but it works well for him. My understanding is his products are fairly pricey but he has the market base and the skills to sell them. Good for him! :gizmo:

I will say that many of his practices are good agronomics but there are also other techniques that are equally sustainable. I live in an area with many farms that have been in the same families for over 100 years, some over 200 years and a few over 300 years. I don't think any of them are devotees of Polyface but obviously all practice soil and water conservation, take care of their farms and have been "sustainable" over a very long period of time. We'll see if Polyface is still in business in the same location in 100 years. At least someone will, I obviously won't be around!

Treefarmer
 
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