Thursday, August 03, 2017

February 23, 2017
By Steph Yin

...In a paper published in PLoS One on Wednesday, (click here) Dr. Mountrakis and Sheng Yang, a graduate student, tried slicing deforestation a different way. Using satellite maps, they calculated the average distance to the nearest forest from any point in the continental United States in 1992 versus 2001. Between these years, they found, distance to the nearest forest increased by one-third of a mile.

This new metric, which the researchers named “forest attrition distance,” reflects a particular type of forest loss: the removal of isolated forest patches. When these patches are lost (a process the authors refer to as attrition), adjacent forests become farther apart, potentially affecting biodiversity, soil erosion, local climate and other conditions.

The authors calculated the change in total forest cover from 1992 to 2001, and found a loss of 3 percent or 35,000 square miles, approximately the size of Maine. Over the same time period, Dr. Mountrakis said, forest attrition distance increased by 14 percent, a contrast he called striking....

It isn't as though American scientists that work within the USA government have been sitting on their hands regarding the concern of the loss of photosynthesis within the borders of the USA.

A 25-Year History of Forest Disturbance and Cause in the United States (click here)

Mountain pine beetle damage.

Currently in its third phase, the North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) project is completing nationwide processing of historic Landsat data to provide a comprehensive annual, wall-to-wall analysis of U.S. disturbance history over the last 25 years. Because understanding the cause of disturbance is important to many forest-related applications, Forest Service scientists and collaborators have developed methods to map forest disturbance agents through time. Starting with 10 pilot scenes across the U.S. representing diverse disturbance regimes, scientists developed annual maps at 30 meters (98.42 feet) resolution of fire, harvest, conversion, stress and other agents. It was no surprise that high magnitude disturbances such as clear cuts, land use change, and severe fire could be mapped quite accurately, but the group also experienced success in mapping more subtle and slow disturbances such as insect and disease outbreaks in the Interior West. Research partners plan to distribute annual nationwide maps depicting when and where a forest disturbance occurred over the last 25 years in the near future. Forest Service scientists also are processing national causal agent maps and intermediate spatial data layers. These causal disturbance maps will enable extensive analyses of temporal and spatial patterns in disturbance agents across the U.S.

Picture to right is clear cutting in Oregon, USA.

It is not necessary, even in western Oregon to clear cut for sunlight. Does anyone actually believe a Douglasfir Tree (America's popular Christmas Tree) needs bare land to grow? If that was the case, there wouldn't be Douglasfir in the first place.

Full sun (click here) and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Clear cutting is not required for any species of tree. Honestly, if greed is the issue than foresters should state it as same.

Rules for clearcuts. (click here) Oregon law requires that trees be left as buffers along streams to protect water and fish habitat. And in the clearcut area, a few trees are retained for wildlife habitat. Seedlings must be planted within two years after harvest. Oregon rules limit clearcuts to 120 acres, and adjacent areas in the same ownership cannot be clearcut until the new trees on the original harvest site are at least 4 feet tall.