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logging and mining, whats it like in your world???bit long

melanie
July 17th, 2005, 06:25 PM
well jjgeonerd jsut asked a q in another thread, it was not right to anser there so i will do it here and jsut wondered what the situation is in your countires....


ok so do i like logging, ideally not, i would love to leave all of nature and the environment alone and not allow human impact, but then you all know im a bit of a dreamer, wont happen....humans dont like to change much, they like comfort , so to stop alot of this stuffwould require huge changes on humans part and in relation to our comforts and i think that is the main reason such industries will continue to thrive..its all psychology

in australia logging and mining are pretty big industries... there are entire areas or regions dependant on either industry....

MINING- in australia we mine alot of things, from bauxite to coal to diamonds to oil etc... i dont see it as essentially necessary, many of the mined resources are only recovered due to ease and low cost, eg renewable energy is alot more expensive than coal fueled energy at the mo in australia so coal is the main source, although not necessary it is sourced for $$ value alone really. i have seen first hand the impacts of mining on the environment, and it is heart breaking... actualyl driving past the coal mines up north the other day made me very sad and teary, to me it is like sucking the heart and lifeforce out of the land, and as part of the land it is killing me.... so no i think we can find other ways around most of our mineral uses and find alternatives...for instance we mine sand islands to source a product that makes tooth paste white, now to me thats a bit silly, i dont mind it brown....

logging- in aus its a huge industry also... logging of old growth forest in tasmania is a hgue issue and one that often gets a few hot emotions going... from both sides. eg ppl in towns in tasmaina have no alternaitve industry, without logging they have no current work. for the other side those old growth forests are the last, they are magnificient and ancient, and to me sacred and representative of a primative env era, beautiful and worth saving at all cost....but i know of families that could not surivive without the industry, no food in their bellies so to speak, i totally understand, growing up on the land gives that perspective.... so there is a need to find these men jobs and fullfilling industry....

so my solution- selective logging of tree plantations and a stronger focus o n recycling. many products made of wood can be found in the env, such as at your local rubbish dump....realistically we have enough timber in this country already chopped down to make houses for many years to come, we have enough paper to recycle for years, and so forth.... for eg certain eucalypts make goodchop sticks, and many trees are logged to supply a japanese market, this to me is ridiculous and there is many forms of wood that could be recycled and used in this instance...

and we need to create alternative industries, look i dont know if tourism is the way, it does not feel right, but at the mo its one very viable option. (this coming from a person who jsut did a 3yr thesis on indigenous tourism sheesh :eek: ).. tourism has impacts too.....

but slowly it is becomeing more and more apparent that these industries are running out of resources in australia, we are mining the last of our oil nad we are trying to mine the last of the old growht forest, to me both of these issues are indicative of an industry dying..

now i may be right, i may be crazy, but i just may be the lunatic their lookin for :D lol

so what od you think nad how is this industry in yoru country,,, feel very free to disagree this is not going to turn into an argument or ethical dilemma, just informative and understanding...

Bearsmom
July 18th, 2005, 08:37 AM
As the daughter of the former CEO of a huge mining company, I've never had a problem with mining (it's nickle that they mine)-hell it kept me in a comfy lifestyle. What I do have a problem with is that one of the smelters emits this green nasty smoke, and the incidences of cancer in my hometown are HUGE. I seriously think they should study it.

As for logging, I really don't know much about it.

jjgeonerd
July 18th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Melanie...I agree with your mining and logging stances. Here in the Pacific NW, US it seems the logging companies do a pretty good job of impacting the environment as little as possible (although it has taken a lot of work to get them to adopt this philosophy). They either log their own private tree farms, or they are leased public land by the gov't to log. In either event they only log small areas at a time and re-plant them with saplings immediately. The areas recover and are ready to log again in something like 10-20 years is my understanding. However, it should be noted that this region of the US has very fertile soil (thanks to the numerous active volcanoes waiting to annihilate us :eek: ), as well as pretty high rainfall. All this makes our growth rates very high.

From what I've read Australia has very low growth rates and poor soils so logging there is essenially "mining" because the trees grow so slowly that it basically isn't a renewable resource. Cutting down the trees in Tasmania is very sad. Worse yet I read that Aus. sells trees to Japan (where logging is not pemitted BTW), Japan then turns them into finished wood products, and sells them back to Australia!! That is ridiculous (but also happens a little in the US :( )

Mining in the US is a mixed bag. Some states are so strict environmentally (California for instance) that it isn't economically feasible to do alot of mining, so the industry is pretty small overall. Others (such as Nevada's gold mines) seem to have reached a happy medium regarding the environment and profit. Others seem IMO to not care enough about the environment. Problem with mining is that if a product isn't grown it is mined somehow. That means most everything we use is mined.

Coal mining is the worst as far as environmentally damaging IMO. They disturb HUGE pieces of land. I'm with you on needing to find alternative energy. Every country should look at the Netherlands for help on this one.

I agree everyone needs more recycling. US is a mixed bag on that too. In Seattle we pay more for our trash collection as the trash can size goes up. Recycling is free though and the can's are HUGE! Pretty good system. Boise, Idaho on the other hand has recycling, but you have to pay extra for it. Consequently, very few people recycle (just those with an environmental conscience). Pretty sad.

pags
July 18th, 2005, 11:33 AM
Very interesting to think about, mel! A huge chunk of the history of my area here in the United States is wrapped up in irresponsible logging practices... Apparently in the early to mid 1800s there were still virgin pine forrests here for hundreds and hundreds of square miles... But add some industrious railroad men and a natural port to the picture and what happens? That's right.. They started cutting down the forrests at an alarming rate... building railroad lines to take them to the coast.. and shipping lumber out to other countries. By 1900 the forrests were gone. Gone. Completely.

The story goes.. that our industrious railroad men started to suffer some financial setbacks and had to take a look at what resources were still available to exploit. To give you an idea of the scale of destruction -- they admitted that what they had was a state full of stumps. Stumps. As a result they turned their industry to turpentine production -- putting the stumps to use, of course...

Today -- most of the forrest land is owned by the paper companies. Honestly - if not for their planting and rotating practices I don't think we'd have any trees at all... But I get a sick feeling deep in the pit of my stomach when I see these spindly little pine trees growing where once would have stood (according to early explorers) some of the most incredible stands of virgin pine known to man. All gone in much less than a century!!

Our land was broken long ago -- and now logging isn't much of an issue.. but it is deeply deeply intertwined with our local history. Very sad.

Dogastrophe
July 18th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Much of the following is based on my memory. My background is Forest Engineering but it has been several years since I've been involved directly in the harvesting end of things. Somehow I must have bumped my head and ended up in the finance world :eek:

The west coast of Canada (specifically Vancouver Island and the southern and coastal areas of BC) have very similiar growing conditions and corporate responsibility as the US Pacific Northwest as described by jjgeo. BC has/had one of the most comprehensive sets of forest management regulations in existence.

As you move across the country from west to east, the growing conditions and forest makeup change substantially. I am on the east coast which is characterized by balsam fir, spruce, pine, hemlock, tamarack, and various tolerant and intolerant hardwoods. Ground conditions move from the fertile to the somewhat fertile. Harvesting rotations are managed in the 60 to 80 year range depending on species.

Mixed bag of harvesting techniques are used including clearcuts (max 100 ha in size), selective cutting, shelterwood cuts, and commercial thinning. Much of the land being harvested in NS is private land (very small percentage of gov't owned land here) while much in New Brunswick is provincial crown land licensed to private lumber companies. In all cases, the forest companies are required to replant and perform other silviculture techniques under their control regardless of the type of land ownership. [as a side note, back in the 50s a gentleman named K.C. Irving (patriarch of the Irving empire) began what is thought to be the first full scale replanting effort by a forest company in North America].

I am very much in favour of responsible forestry using whichever method(s) make the best overall sense (economics, environmental, etc). There are many countries which are still in rape and pillage mode (Mexico and Brazil come quickly to mind, Russia may still fall into that catagory) with little thought to what the long term result will be. It may be many years before the effect of their activities are seen.

kandy
July 18th, 2005, 05:01 PM
Others (Wyoming coal mines) seem IMO to not care enough about the environment. Coal mining is the worst as far as environmentally damaging IMO. They disturb HUGE pieces of land.
Being born and raised in Wyoming, I have mixed reactions to that. Wyoming doesn't have near as many coal mines as the southeast does, our main income is from the oil and gas industry - not coal. But, it is definitely true that coal mines create subsidence (ground sinking) and this would happen with any underground mining operations. I personally don't feel that Wyomingites care any less about the environment than anyone else - the coal mining practices were started way before anyone worried what the long term effects would be. This could be said about alot of the industry in the US or anywhere else in the world for that matter. That being said, the coal mines in Wyoming that still operate are alot safer than they used to be.

In my area, our lifeblood is the oil & gas industry and the trona mines. Trona is a major component in anything glass - our area provides more than 80% of the world's trona. Our trona mines are continually trying to improve their processes, both in relation to the environment and of course to improve their bottom line. IMO the worst environmental culprits are the companies who process the mined products with methods that dump pollutants into the air or companies who dump toxic wastes into our waters. Underground mines can be designed to prevent subsidence - our oceans and ozone layer can't be replaced once we've totally ruined them.

I haven't had much experience with logging, nor do I have much knowledge about it.

jjgeonerd
July 18th, 2005, 05:48 PM
Being born and raised in Wyoming, I have mixed reactions to that. Wyoming doesn't have near as many coal mines as the southeast does, our main income is from the oil and gas industry - not coal. But, it is definitely true that coal mines create subsidence (ground sinking) and this would happen with any underground mining operations. I personally don't feel that Wyomingites care any less about the environment than anyone else - the coal mining practices were started way before anyone worried what the long term effects would be. This could be said about alot of the industry in the US or anywhere else in the world for that matter. That being said, the coal mines in Wyoming that still operate are alot safer than they used to be.



Sorry...didn't mean to offend any Wyoming residents or imply all of you don't care about the environment...I know that isn't the case at all. I was actually talking about strip mines (or surface mines as the industry like to call them). I would guess your modern underground mines are backfilled with concrete like the Nevada mines to prevent subsidence. Safety is an entirely separate issue.

Obviously previous mining techniques aren't really applicable. California, which is probably the most environmentally stringent state in the US, has a couple superfund sites resulting from old mining practices.

melanie
July 18th, 2005, 06:43 PM
wow guys, that was amazing and oh so informative... its really interesting to see what the rest of the world does in relation to this issue. its interesting to see world wide that there is still a major issue with these industries in relation to their environmental commitment, management and degradation......

i find it very interesting that we sell so many products to each other between countires when in reality most countries have similar of if not alternative roducts for use, transport of these resources is also a big issue...

but i truly do understand the plight of the logger or miner, gosh my dad worked in the coal mines when i was a girl and my uncles all work for BHP (grrrr). i also do env consultancy work for a company called sydney gas, they mine coal seam methane gasses, its hard for me to accept but also it means wiht my involvement i can force them to use env management methods and force them to add to local conservation. sometimes its better for us to be involved, we add more env control (sydney gas is pretty good and very low impact)...

i understnad the need for food, but are we not doing these ppl a disservice by not forcing better env management from the industries to not only aid the env but to sustain these industries so they are not run into the ground, sensible resource recovery may jsut be sustainable for both the env and the person on the ground...

pags very true, we are now looking at our lands bare and sad, we now must envision and dream about the stands of giants oce dominating our lands, logging is very much an important part of our history here to, the early settlers were know as Cedar Getters, that is they scoured the land and removed all cedar trees, we now have hardly any.... also during the 1st ww the men who returned were offered land parcels on the condition that all trees must be removed form the land to develop grazing areas they lost their land if they did not remove all the trees, and boy did they do a good job, a good portion of australia is now grazing land and cleared, not that all of our land is useable anyway.....

jjgeonerd, yes we have very poor soils, our top soils are barely non existant and very low in nutrients... well a recent experiment has found that you can actually use trees in some areas of this country to find minerals, simply put the trees sitting on the minerals are very healthy compared to normal eucalypts, now they can jsut fly around spotting these trees and plotting the mines, apparenlty their quite accurate, its a worry in some ways but not in others, it may mean they are a bit more targeted with mining rather than jsut gourging the earth searching.... its all very interesting i suppose, and something that one should accept or i think i will go mad with worry, but forcing beter env control and sustainabilty seem to be the mjr options for this industry.....

again thanks guys, very very interesting and i thank you for your responses and my little education :D :love:

CyberKitten
July 18th, 2005, 09:17 PM
We have similar probs in the Maritimes with mining and logging tho it is more pulp and paper - there is reforestation but never enuf. And my dad ran a paper mill!!! But I love the wilderness and the animals who live in it so believe in good logging pratices - no clear cutting on my own land. We are having a huge debate at thbe moment over the use of vorwn land - which is leased to corporations who cut it and then just ship it to be manufactured and of course for every resource based job, there are 5 in manufacturing so that's a problem - along with the enviornmental issues.

Mining is similar. A small community in northern New Brunswick was a big mining town and I have more small patients (who have serious cancers!!) from that area than any other. At one time, I had 4 in hospital from this one small village alone. Now I have not conducted an epidimiological study but one is not needed when it is that blatant! It is clear these people may well have had great jobs but they may have killed some iof their children and polluted the enviornment forever! I see my work as trying to repair the damage our environmental pollution has caused, sigh

Melanie, have you seen If You Loved This Planet by Dr. Helen Caldicott?

Prin
July 18th, 2005, 10:40 PM
Funny you talk about this after all the headlines here about logging and the natives. There is one island that is totally untouched here and a huge logging company wants to log there.
http://www.soslevasseur.org/qui_en.php
It's really sad.

Another strange thing about forestry is when I was in Ireland, I couldn't sleep so I was flipping through the 7 channels we got, and I found a documentary about logging in Quebec. Really funny- I'm 5000kms away and I'm learning about my home province. They were saying how selective tree cutting is the way to go. I think we've got a long way to go before we stop totally abusing all of our resources.

melanie
July 19th, 2005, 02:43 AM
no Ck that sounds interesting, i have read some of caldicotts work, i will look it up. shocking stuff in that town boy oh boy...

in my ideal world resources such as those from logging and mining would not be used. it would never be , and ppl would see it as i do.hey resource use and extraction sucks in my books, but it exists and i cant ignore it. but then after all the fights, tears, heartache and blood boiling confrontation over the years, i am starting to think i can only force env sound resource use instead of a cease of the action. i often think this is a weak stance for me to take, i often think i should stand firmer these days.

but then i think perhaps stopping such resource use will never happen and i would spend my life fighting and dying to stop these industries and similar others, with no effect, what a waste of energy. and that it may be more productive to support sustainable industries strictly in the env sense...its hard to know what to do most of the time.....

as far as reforestation goes, well i dont really see the point other than carbon sequestration. when yo udestroy a natural habitat by removing the foliage, you cannot recreate that env, you can get close but it will enver be the same...

i suppose that i support farm forestry in that instance, that is growing trees as crops on private and crown lands and such. an idea perhap.....

again thanks for the info guys.... :D

Dogastrophe
July 19th, 2005, 08:45 AM
They were saying how selective tree cutting is the way to go. I think we've got a long way to go before we stop totally abusing all of our resources.

Selective cutting can be a very good harvesting method provided it is done properly. In the past, much of the selective harvesting done was through a process called high-grading. High-grading refers to the removal of the best and often highest value trees in a stand. While on the surface this seemed to be an ideal way to avoid clear cutting, the resultant stand or poor wood tended to be much weaker thus more suceptable to diesese and wind damage. What ended up happening was several years following the high-grading, the stand was in such poor condition that it needed to be cleared and replanted. In cases such as this a clear cut would have provided the best overall fibre recovery given that the trees left behind were dead and dying and therefore no longer merchantable. High-grading still occurs but mainly on private woodlots where the effects are not as profound (Junior wants a new truck so he goes out and cuts $50K of high end wood to pay for it).

Selective cutting that is done more as a commercial thin operation will discriminate on the low-grade side of things, but will also take good wood, thus paying for (and generally making a profit from) the thin operation. The purpose being an overall thinning of the stand which reduces competition which promotes accelerated growth of the standing trees.

CyberKitten
July 20th, 2005, 12:31 AM
I do selective cutting(not by myself, lol) on my woodlot but it is management and mre in the line of pruning to allow the trees I want to grow!!

Dogastrophe
July 20th, 2005, 08:02 AM
CK, yeah, you are doing the type of sel cutting that I like. I know many small woodlot owners who have been selective cutting their land for long before I was born. They have some of the best timber around. As you know, as long as you don't always take the best wood, you will always have great wood.

As an aside, how big is your woodlot? What species make-up?

kandy
July 20th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Sorry...didn't mean to offend any Wyoming residents or imply all of you don't care about the environment...I know that isn't the case at all. I was actually talking about strip mines (or surface mines as the industry like to call them).

That's ok. I too detest seeing the strip mines - although I can't think of any in Wyoming right off the top of my head. I am sure there are at least a few, since any rock quarries normally employ strip mining techniques.

It's too bad that there are so many industries in the business of stripping the earth of all its resources and so few people fighting for the environment. Hopefully they'll find some balance before we all have to wear oxygen masks and live underground!