Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 08 Feb 1997 13:49:52 -0500

Regina Pancake wrote:
> >
> >This is incorrect. The old growth forests in BC, Canada (e.g., those
> >on Vancouver Island) are being pulped for daily newspapers.
> so I should rephase that,
> American bussiness whouldn't do that. socialist would. go figure...

Your previous assertion that old growth is being used for furniture is
wrong. Furniture that is solid wood, not vernier, is of such high value
that it must be 1) of hardwood (not a typical characteristic of old
growth) and 2) have beautifully luminescent grain, i.e. that which has
burl, or curly grain. Old growth has very straight grain wood, and is
useless for furniture, with the exception of rosewood and other exotics
from equatorial rain forests. Old growth is good for large wood beams,
and for pulping into paper. Granted that some paper companies, like
Weyerhauser, are experimenting with fast growth pine and cottonwood
hybrids, but such farms are plagued by problems with soil retention, so
any given ground is worthless after two or three generations of such
fast growth trees (6-15 years total). Such agriculture is the exception,
not the rule. The fact that a lumber company does not have to put in the
investment in planting, thinning, and pruning old growth like it does
with its highly sensitive hybrids, makes old growth more cost effective
to harverst than agricultural wood.

Another factor that has speeded the harvesting of old growth here in the
US and Canada in the last 8 years is the fall of the USSR. No kdding.
With the opening of the Siberian wilderness to western lumber
exploitation, US companies, especially those who had significant
investments in purchasing old growth land outright, had to harvest that
wood as soon as possible before cheap lumber from Siberia got onto the
open market. So they helped engineer the US Gov't restriction of
harvesting off USG land (you don't seriously think they'd roll over so
easily for a damn owl, do you?), to help boost the price enough to
offset the flood of private old growth on the market. The USG loved it,
because then they could look like they were doing good for the
environment (only the environment on their land), while also setting up
a future high value market for Russian lumber, that would help pay off
their buddies in Moscow enough to go along with arms reductions, etc etc


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

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