Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The environmental sciences division of Let It Grow has been overworked, lately, and the woodpeckers may or may not be happy.
We've been clearcutting forests down by the coast, but don't worry - we've got good reason.
It all started when my buddy Dave decided he wanted some mushroom logs. He'd heard from "around" that he could get some at a nearby wildlife preserve, and he called for information. He apparantly was the only person who had called in a long time time, and the director invited him out for a personal tour. They spent the day driving around the preserve, the director pointing out every tree and shrub, butterfly and bird. There's a nature trail here, the director said, and a nature trail there, he said, but no one ever seems to come out ....
Dave volunteered to improve one of the trails, and offered to bring some of his friends out and lead them on a walk. I'll come along, too, the director said. No one ever seems to come out here ....
Whenever he saw Dave out there, he'd stop and talk to Dave for the rest of the day.
Once, driving around, he pointed out a nesting site for an endangered woodpecker. The director hired a logger to go in and remove trees around the nesting site - the woodpeckers preferred a pure pine stand, and if maples and gums grew up to the level of the nest, there was a danger the birds would abandon the nest. All this is consistant with a management plan drawn up by the Fish and Wildlife Commission - where-ever they find an endangered woodpecker, the implement certain measures designed to make life a little easier for all involved.
Removing non-pine species mimics the natural state of the forest, the director said, and makes the bird more secure and makes it easier to forage. But the equipment used to remove the trees makes a big mess, and could end up damaging some of the pines.
This is just a big mess, Dave agreed. I could come out with a chain saw and clean up a site like this in no time. It would be gentler than using skidders, and the end result would be a lot better.
Next thing we knew, we were out there with chainsaws.
State biologists find either an existing nest or a likely nesting site and mark out an area of about an acre around it. Dave and I go in and cut down anything that's not a pine. We leave the site looking like it would have looked before human intervention - meaning before it was logged. At that time, the forest would have been predominantly pine, and wildfires would have come through periodically, burning other species but leaving the tall, thick barked pines alone. This is the environment the woodpeckers evolved into. We humans destroy things like that, and then work to re-establish it.
The volunteer days are over, too. We get paid for all this, thanks to the Endangered Species Act and, in turn, the federal government.
We've never actually seen a woodpecker. They're kinda rare; that's the whole point. We just kind of believe people when they tell us that they're out there, and we keep cutting down trees.


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