Salvage Logging
  Oct 03, 2004 04:58 PDT 

I think that one of the most significant aspects of salvage logging in
previously undisturbed forest such as an old growth area would be the introduction
of invasive species of plants that arrive at the site in the mud and dirt on
the logging equipment. My own best guess is that 30 years after a major
disturbance in an a virgin or old growth patch of woods is that some essence of
the "old growth" nature of the place will still be present (if nothing else
because of the massive stems in a horizontal position) but if it has been
salvaged it will look like woods that was salvaged 30 years ago.   In all of my
experience with salvage logging only the best or most valuable trees are
removed and it often a more complete high-grade than Joe Zorzin could ever imagine.
Salvage logging is for the betterment of the landowner and not necessarily
for the betterment of the land.

Russ Richardson
Russ's take
  Oct 03, 2004 05:56 PDT 
     Thanks for your on the ground insights about salvage logging. When management actions and concepts are discussed, we often lose sight of what actually happens on the ground. It the case of salvage logging it is what humans actually do in implementing a salvage logging plan that is important, as opposed to the official pronouncements from bureaucrats and the timber industry advocates, who of course, always make theirn operations sound ecologically friendly.
RE: post-disturbance salvage logging effects  Paul Jost
  Oct 03, 2004 07:15 PDT  

A few years ago, while hiking in a section of the Porkies that was salvage logged after a blow-down in the 1950's (1953?), Lee and I noticed some obvious differences in the salvaged area adjacent to virgin/primary forest that was left untouched. The canopy species mix was different, probably due to destruction of seedlings and suppressed saplings and the dislocation of the duff layer to expose mineral soil during the salvage operation with heavy equipment. There was a significant aspen component and I believe that there were more red maple, too. We also noticed that all trees, not just the aspen and red maple, were heavily infested with forest tent caterpillars as were the trees in all the surrounding second growth forests in adjacent states. You could not walk more than 5 yards without encountering a web of caterpillar silk strands and caterpillars in your face. However, there was a distinct line where the salvage operation ended and the caterpillars virtually disappeared. Most of the few caterpillars that we saw within the virgin forest away from the blowdown appeared on solitary green ash trees within dense hemlock groves. Otherwise, the lack of caterpillars in any significant density made hiking in the virgin forests the only tolerable forest hiking in the region. Unfortunately, 99% of the people in the midwestern states think that the forest tentworm caterpillar plagues are normal, natural events even though they seem to appear in this form most significantly in ecosystems significantly disturbed by man. By the way, we also noticed that the mosquito density was considerably less in virgin areas than in logged areas. I believe that the same could be said for ticks, too.

Also, invasive animals might be introduced by salvaging, particularly earthworms but also countless organisms in the soil. Lee also recently mentioned another invasive to me. Apparently, some of his research has discovered negative effects on forest ecosystems by invasive slugs, too.

RE: post-disturbance salvage logging effects
  Oct 03, 2004 17:11 PDT 
    Your examples of the impacts of salvage logging and those of others that I have heard should be a constant reminder to all of us of the horrendous negative impacts that logging operations can have. The training that some loggers receive in Massachusetts toward more eco-friendly logging was often disparaged by Joe when he was on the list, as diverting attention from the proper roles of forestry and logging. I'm wondering what the experiences of others on the list are in terms of the impacts they've observed in terms of the impacts of logging and whether or not those impacts are mitigated, and if so, do the mitigations work?
Re: post-disturbance salvage logging effects   The Darbyshires
  Oct 03, 2004 20:09 PDT 
Any thoughts on possible reasons for the caterpillars and mosquito density
to vary this way? Was it the species composition for caterpillars?
Microclimate for mosquitoes?

Re: post-disturbance salvage logging effects
  Oct 04, 2004 04:42 PDT 

As far as mosquitos, it would really depend upon the time of day you were
there to attract the bugs. If it was bright and sunny in the middle of the day
and the aspen area was fairly open you likely would not has seen that many
bugs but generally they will get you worse if there is a lot of contrast
between you and your surroundings.

I have always been chewed up the worst in areas with a dense understory and
a softwood midstratum. I really cannot imagine mosquitos and caterpillars
having any sort of symbiotic relationship.

I have always been chewed up the worst an hour before sunset and within an
hour of sunrise.

RE: post-disturbance salvage logging effects   Paul Jost
  Oct 04, 2004 05:35 PDT 

I make the mosquito statement with regards to experiences of hikes at all times of the day and by noticing changes during single hikes as I transitioned through forest types. I believe that the reduction in mosquitoes may have been related to the number of breeding pools available. In the second growth and salvaged areas, there were more scattered areas with little or no forest duff layer where log drags and heavy machinery had scraped it away and caused depressions down to exposed clay that held water. In the virgin forest, breeding pools were limited to occasional flowing creeks and scattered vernal pools that dried up by mid-late summer. It was very clear that we had no contact with ticks in virgin forest and only experienced them in second growth forests.

As far as the forest tent caterpillars were concerned, it appeared that the old growth trees had lower concentrations of caterpillars. There appeared to be more caterpillars per tree in second growth and salvaged areas due to the high concentration of strands to the ground and hanging caterpillars which were nearly nonexistent in the virgin areas. However, this could be related to the species composition mix which would draw more egg-laying adults to the younger stands because of the higher density of preferred food species. There is also the possibility that tall, young, fast-growing trees are slower to respond to attack with toxins in the next generation of leaves than older trees that have been in the canopy longer?