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“Home of Texas Traditional Music” Down-Home Food 217 So. Lamar Austin, Texas August 6, 1976 15 Forester replies Don Gardner has a right to his opinions about forest management, but his article in the July 16 issue of the Observer contains errors that, in all fairness, deserve to be corrected. 1.Mr. Gardner says Southland “in its 1975 annual report revealed that it clearcuts an average of 15,000 acres of its own land every year.” No such statement is made in the annual report. Southland tries to reforest some 15,000 acres annually, but reforestation does not necessarily mean clearcutting and replanting. An area can be reforested in several ways: with seed trees, by planting seedlings in abandoned fields and pastures and other open areas, and by selectively thinning trees in a too-thick forest to permit natural regrowth. 2.Mr. Gardner says Southland “intends to continue or even increase [clearcutting] until all 540,000 of its acres are in tree farms.” That, too, is wrong and is found nowhere in the annual report, as Mr. Gardner says. In the first place, it would be impractical. Many Southland lands are fully stocked with trees and are capable of regenerating themselves naturally with only occasional thinnings. In the second place, many thousands of acres of Southland lands are in parks, nature trails, wildlife sanctuaries, lakes, streams, and experimental areasand will never be clearcut. 3.Mr. Gardner implies that Southland uses only clearcutting in its forest management program. That, too, is false. Southland uses both selective harvesting and clearcutting and replanting. Both have a place in forest management, and, if used properly, each can be beneficial to the creation of healthy, productive, and environmentally sound forests. 4.Mr. Gardner says “there’s one area which has been planted four times now and the young pine seedlings have all died.” That, too, is false. The area to which he refers was planted at different intervals because of wet-weather conditions, not because the seedlings were dying. The trees, incidentally, are alive and well. 5.Mr. Gardner cites a New Hampshire soil study supposedly to support his contention that all clearcutting is bad. There is a vast difference between soil types and terrain conditions in the eastern mountainous areas and the relative flatlands of East Texas and the South. No reputable scientist would try to compare conditions in two distinctly different parts of the nation. The Southern areas, in fact, are more ideally suited for clearcutting and replanting because of the flat terrain \(which is less suswhich bring about a faster natural regrowth of vegetation. Dialogue 6.Since dozer-clearing and debrisburning are two different operations in forest management, performed at different times of the year, your cover photo simultaneously showing a dozer at work and a debris fire in the background must be something other than a forest clearcut. It may be of interest to you that industry owns about 32 percent of the Texas commercial forests. Individuals own the biggest portion, 63 percent. Thus, it seems ironic that the industrial forestsincluding many thousands of acres that were clearcut and replanted years agoare the lands most sought for parks such as the Big Thicket Preserve, Lake Livingston State Park, and others. Professional foresters must be doing something right. Robert Sprott, forester, Southland Paper Mills, Inc., Livingston, Tex. Don Gardner stands by his story. -Ed Forests If the Observer is sincere in its beliefs that forest product companies are endangering the future of the Texas forests, perhaps the Observer should set an example by ceasing its use of newsprint, a product that obviously comes from these so-called endangered forests. William A. Elmore, 1101 Kiln, Lufkin, Tex. There are other products we’d rather see sacrificed first. For starters, how about all the unnecessary packaging done by junk food restaurants? According to a recent study at the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Computation, “It takes the sustained yield of 630 square miles of forest to keep McDonald’s supplied with paper packaging for one year.” -Ed. Re: Writers Your piece on Texas Monthly’s inner turmoil was excellent, a judgment which includes respect for your restraint. There is no greater need in Texas than self-criticism among the media \(especially the printed merely reflects the snide side of competition or the peccadilloes that accompany professional views. . . . Of course, as a Texas writer who has had BOOKS. 503 5 WEST 17 TH 476.0116 Mist in, Texts 78701 Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 459-6577 you’ll be tickled about the ribs. Mon.-Fri. 11:00-7:30 Sat. 12:00-4:00 The Outpost Barbecue 10930 Printers Stationers Mailers Typesetters High Speed Web Offset Publication Press Complete Computer Data Processing Services Counseling Designing Copy Writing Editing Journals Magazines Newspapers Books The Only 100% Union Shop in Texas! FUTILIPRIL 512 / 442-7836 Box 3485 1714 S. Congress Austin, Tx 78764