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Letter to the editor: Overcutting is bad for the forest


Probably only a few of us around here have noticed, but over the past 20 years, there has been a steady decline in the size of pulpwood on trucks heading both up and down the Northway.

In the past, it was common to see trucks loaded with 12- to 18-inch wood. Today, we see those trucks commonly loaded with 4- to 12-inch pulpwood. That's a symptom of overcutting.

Normally, forestry companies try to limit the wood they cut to the forest growth in their surrounding operating areas. When what they cut exceeds that growth, the size goes down and the cost goes up. This is what happened around 1900 when many Adirondack lumber and paper companies went out of business. They had overcut their timber resources.

This also has implications for wildlife. Trees like oak and American beech don't produce good amounts of nuts until they are at least 12 inches in diameter. Cutting them before that means that many species, like turkeys, squirrels, blue jays and deer, are denied an important source of their food supply.

Donald Wharton, South Glens Falls


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