Recently I read a article in the headlight Herald regarding a speaker coming to speak, “truth to power”. So I felt the need to bring some information to the table. I understand in today’s society any actual understanding of the timber industry seems to be few and far between.
I have resided in Tillamook all but one year of my 27 years and feel the deep need to shed some light on a very near to my heart subject. For starters, timber is a renewable resource. Such as wheat or oats. Trees are planted, cut then re-planted. Timber companies must abide by this law according to the Oregon Forest practice act. The Oregon forest practice act began in 1971 and has had 41 major updates throughout the years. As land changes and we learn more from research and good science the forest practice act is revised and is to reflect the data collected from this research.
It is law that within 24 months from harvest a minimum of 200 trees must be planted per acre. Typically companies plant over 400 per acre within the first year. It is actually considered to be an important part of their investment to this land to plant within the first year. By waiting even one year longer will cost them about one log truck load per acre once it is harvested 45 years or so later. As a tree matures, it can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and release enough oxygen for you to breathe for two years. There seems to be a huge misunderstanding here.
According to an article by NASA, researching the different collection of carbon of young and old trees, they discovered more carbon is collected in younger forests. Since younger forests have more trees and are at a better quality, they store carbon at a faster rate. Which in turn shows that younger forests are healthier for our earth. I have also read about how some believe the chemicals produced by logging hurt the environment.
According to the 2018 quality info study there are about 636 logging units in Oregon and the annual average total for timber employees, 5,711 are employed in the private sector while 3,298 are employed in government. If you’ve known a logger you know that they are the original carpoolers. Usually can spot a dirty work truck with every seat full, getting up long before most have rolled out of bed meeting somewhere and heading into the woods. They take their lunches and head to work before the sun wakes. So out of those 5711 employees you can go ahead and figure unrealistically high and say they have a total of 4500 vehicles and pieces of equipment.
Now let’s jump to the daily amount of cars in Portland crossing the Portland Vancouver interstate Bridge for example. According to the Southwest Washington regional transportation counsel there are over 303,471 cars crossing per day. Should we not be requiring cities to be held accountable for the pollution that they bring to the air? Plain and simple our logging companies are not the issue. It’s a classic case of David against Goliath.
Our small towns are being penalized for the cities wrong doings. It’s quite obvious where the problem is. We might live where they enjoy to vacation, or escape the rat race so they feel that us, the groundskeepers since our previous generations somehow need to change to fix their pollution ridden consciences. One thing is certain being a mother of three and raised in a family of loggers you can bet my kids will be taught the actual truth. As people go against the timber industry with mislead information, making them seem like the bad guys, then getting into their car and heading back to their four lanes we will continue with our humble lives.
My dad has been a timber faller for 35 years up until a recent accident and has always referred to the Woods as his church. Loggers are not monsters, they love what they do and care about the forest. They just understand the truth of how it actually works. Unkept forests during dry seasons lead to wildfires that are hard to stop. In the past 20 years wildfires emitted about 8,000,000,000 tons of carbon per year. In 2017 global missions reached 32,500,000,000 tons according to the international energy agency. They estimate that wildfires make up to 5 to 10% of the annual global carbon emissions each year. We are a community built on timber and farming. Lets keep it that way. My husband and I sure will.