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Background Information


“...double-speak abounds with ‘forest restoration’translated as ‘timber harvest’ and ‘healthy forests’ translated as ‘industrially managed forests’ ...”
The Influence of Industrial Forest Management Interests on Forest Restoration and Carbon Sequestration Policy and Practice


The Sea Ranch Association is in the late stages of preparing to turn the central forest (often called the CTPZ) into a tree farm, which is to be logged regularly and frequently. (The official plans are on the TSRA website; if you are logged in to that site, you can examine those plans here. Be warned: they are voluminous and not too transparent. The FAQ is the easiest to read, but it focuses only on operational issues.)

This is completely contrary to the original intention of the Sea Ranchers who had the foresight to acquire that parcel (see FDQ 3). Their original intention was to manage this forest only for fire safety, otherwise allowing the forest to develop naturally—and most particularly to protect it from logging.

The advocates of logging the central forest claim that they are acting in the best interests of the forest; that their plan is the best way to reduce fire danger; that it is the best way to control erosion on the old forest roads; and that logging will generate revenue for the Sea Ranch Association.

Of these claims, the only one that may stand up (depending on markets and costs) is revenue. Logging the forest is not necessary for its health, and may damage it to some extent (FDQ 4). There are other ways of reducing fire danger (FDQ 10), and in fact logging will promote understory fuel growth, requiring more, not less, work to reduce fire danger (FDQ 7). There are simpler methods to control erosion, and logging activities will actually create more potential erosion problems, which require more effort and expense to mitigate (FDQ 11). The sections listed at the bottom of this page discuss all these matters in detail.

That leaves revenue. Yes, logging can generate revenue. The question is whether, without greenwash double-talk, it is consistent with the aims and nature of the Sea Ranch to turn a forest preserve into a tree farm. We discuss this in Revenue, Values, and Trust.


“tree farm, a tree-covered area managed as a business enterprise under a plan of reforestation that makes continuous production of timber possible.”—Random House Dictionary of the English Language, New York 1966


References