When a tree dies in a fire or from old age, disease, etc. that doesn't mean the tree is useless to the forest ecosystem. To the contrary, it provides shelter, food and fuel to a diverse range of organisms from woodpeckers to fungi. When the tree is decomposing, it gradually releases minerals (Mg, Fe, etc)and nutrients locked inside hardwood cellulose. These eventually become the topsoil (organic humus) substrate and over time these nutrients and minerals percolate down into the lower soil horizons where they are taken up by growing roots or fungal mychorrhiza and used to make new tissue or cellulose for growing trees. Some minerals may be absorbed from the surrounding mother material, but the minerals in the original foundation are usually locked in crystalline formation and don't make themselves available to the extent that the perculating minerals from decomposition above seep down with rainwater. The more minerals and humus available in topsoil from tree decomposition, the faster and larger living trees can grow. By removing the source of topsoil, salvage logging, like clearcuts, takes from the future forest health for a short term profit..
GW Bush, Cheney, Hurwitz, other timber barons and their political allies don't care much 4 long term sustainability. The ruling corporate class wants the quick fast money in the form of stealing petroleum from Iraq or stealing from the forests to show some short term solutions to a more complex problem. One seasons worth of jobs in salvage logging isn't worth the price of future generation being left with spindly plantation forests of slow growing clearcut/salvage scars that resemble clay hardpan ovens..
Using locally grown/harvested hemp for our paper needs and limited selective logging (never tried by corporate timber) in locally cared for community forests would give people self employed jobs without corporate dependency. Pulping hemp into paper would use less energy, less chlorine bleach pollution since hemp has less lignin that makes wood hard..
The need for forest harvesting is overstated, houses can be built smaller and more compact and/or with recycled materials instead of destroying forest ecosystems. Developers are equally responsible for this corporate timber grab by building huge McMansions 4 yuppies while low income housing (more efficient use of wood, shared walls) never gets built because it isn't profitable..
While Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier sit in jail accused of crimes they didn't commit, the world's greatest criminals occupy the Presidency and the boardrooms of multinational timber, petroleum and chemical corporations, poisoning the air, land and sea while they mercilessly extract natural resources in the pursuit of short term profit..
The people of Earth are coming together in opposition to the corporate imperialist government headed by GW Bush. Where there is tyranny, there is equal resistance!!
From the Cactus Wren;
"Abigail Hagler of Yuma, Arizona, in protesting industry's removal of dead or downed trees (Forest Magazine, summer 2004), wrote: "... the forest floor is composed of the long-dead remains of trees. There is no forest flooróthere is no forestówithout countless dead trees, which have been left for centuries to rot, which really means composting quietly into nourishing organic matter. And what about the innumerable creatures that must have dying vegetation to live? Worms, bacteria, mushrooms, beetlesówhere will they go when the tree is removed?"
Salvage logging removes the shade needed for recruitment of sun intolerant plant and tree species. Additionally, fallen trees soak up moisture which is gradually released to nearby plantlife."
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