Re: Logging in Scout Camps
Everett Holm (eholm@LPI.RENO.NV.US)
Thu, 1 May 1997 06:19:51 -0700
I have seen trees harvested in 2 camps now and the reactions of what you
describe were similar among alot of Scouters. The first camp was much as
you described. The council knew they would gain monetary benefit by
allowing loggers to come in and harvest some nice redwoods. The second camp
is located on US Forest Service land w/ a special use permit to the council.
Alot of reactions were how could they do this? How could they rape the
land? They had no care whatsoever for what they did. We should make sure
this NEVER happens again. And I am not blameless because I was right there
chiming in with them.
However, forests are a marvelous thing and you can make this an important
lesson for your Scouts. In both of the above cases, things are actually
better today than they were just before the harvesting was started. At the
first camp, the logging company was required to repair 'major' trails in
camp and to put into place erosion controls such as water bars on the back
service roads. But the forest still looked much like what you probably saw.
But now that camp is going its 5th year after the logging. The first year,
everything looked like one big mess, the second year, you could barely tell
the loggers were there and in some areas you could only tell if you knew
loggers had been there. By the 3rd and 4th years, the remaining trees have
filled in nicely and other than seeing the tree trunks, the forest looks
better than it ever did before the harvest. There are already Scouts and
Scouters I talk with that are having a hard time remembering 'which' year
the logging was done.
The second camp (the Forest Service one) is now at the one year mark. Yes
when we hit camp last year, there were brush piles all over camp and some
of them had to be moved. But also some of the trails were destroyed by the
logging and this was actually a good thing. Some of these trails had been
in place for 30 years and our 'human' use was taking its own toll on the
forest. These trails were of course rebuilt but in different areas so the
old trail areas can recover and be reclaimed by the forest.
And again, we expect the same results. A couple of more years will pass and
only the ones that were there will know of the major logging that took
place in camp in 1996. The forest will be healthier allowing for the
younger trees to grow and become strong.
That is the lesson, proper logging is healthy in the long run for the
forest. Teach this to your Scouts. Try contacting the forest service in
your area and ask them if they can bring your Scouts out to see areas in
different stages of recovery after logging. Have a forest service ranger
discuss why logging is important in the long run.
Be brave, be different and take the opportunity to brush the $$ issue aside
and make this a lesson for all. No one said you had to like it, but ask
yourself what good does it do now to continue being mad about this issue.
Take what seems to be very negative and turn it into something positive.
And yes, I was totally disgusted at the logging when I first saw the
initial damage and would probably still think the same today. But my
lessons have also taught me and several others to be patient and see the
beauty that will rebound in a couple of years.
Probably not much help today, but wait a couple of years and I think you
will see the new beauty that will bounce back in your camp.
At 09:45 PM 4/30/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Last year, someone talked our council into allowing certain
>hardwood trees with good commercial value, to be 'harvested'
>in the camps. I saw the end results of their harvesting
>last weekend. Trails cut and made by scouts were totally
>destroyed. There were huge piles of debris left over
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City