The Publisher's Notebook on Dec. 12, "Forests a gift to Clatsop County," plays reference to Clatsop County forests as our forests, but it is a simple matter to take issue with that. The owners holding the county timber lands are managing primarily for money.
What do we suppose is the net value of logs on a loaded log ship, versus the value of those logs milled in this county? It would make interesting reading to learn of the wealth leaving our local economy, rather than extol the virtues of mechanization, or make comparisons with the labor costs of the mechanized production which produced the wealth. When two men do the work of 12, their annual wages are a real bargain. The name of the game is, and always will be, eliminate labor.
The harvest rotations go by many names, but the mechanical harvests are critical to maintain production in ever-younger plantations. Trees are a crop. Call it by any name, and it is still agriculture. With no time for recovery, the damage this intensive forest management has done to the native flora and fauna of this county remains to be calculated.
For good reason, the ownership has no interest in transparency, or revealing acreage and age class statistics, and so far no governing body has any interest in digging up the facts and making them public. And thus the concerned public is left in the dark, and lulled to sleep with feel-good industry press releases. Yes, our forests are the gift that keeps on giving.