[permaculture] Prairies and Forests

Heide Hermary heidehermary at pacificcoast.net
Mon Jul 8 17:57:34 EDT 2002


I need to add a couple of words here.
I live in the Pacific Northwest - temperate rainforests.
The logging and removal / burning of debris have resulted in severe and
irreversible soil problems such as erosion, and leaching of nutrients.The
recycling of minerals through their ash is in no way at all comparable to the
recycling of minerals through their organic matter. Another prime example of
this is the destruction of tropical rainforests through burning, which does NOT
result in fertile agricultural land.
Management practices need to be closely matched to the environmental
conditions, including such factors as soil, slope, rainfall, temperature,
biomass.  What may be right in one area could be totally wrong in another. I
certainly know that for forests, and I imagine it to be similar for different
prairie environments.
Heide

Mark wrote:

> my two cents back...
>
> >With all due respect...why then do some of the worst fires I've read
> >about seem to be "controlled" burns that got out of control?  The big
> >New Mexico fire of a year or two back comes to mind...
>
> I'm talking about grass fires here.  These run out of fuel very rapidly
> which makes their control fairly simple if you know what you're
> doing.  Burning overloaded woodlands is a whole different matter.  How they
> are going to sort out the western forest lands that have become overgrown
> is far beyond my expertise.  It may be that much of it needs to be logged
> pretty soundly to thin it out, low grade it if you will, to get the junk
> out.  This overgrowth is of course the result of bad logging and more
> significantly fire suppression for 100 years.
>
> >I'd be willing to bet that each of you has good points and
> >methodologies that will work under some circumstances.  The danger, as
> >always, lies in assuming that what works in situation A will work
> >everywhere, or that what appears to work in the first few months or
> >years after an event is right for the system in the longer term.  So
> >maybe you're both right? :)
>
> 10,000 years of native American management with fire?  Works for me.
>
> >There are definitely ecologies that are structured around occasional
> >fires.  We have a number of those in California, and the debate still
> >rages as to whether manmade burns and/or premature suppression of
> >wildfires help or hurt the overall ecology.
>
> The chaperal areas are tricky devils too.  Very flammable vegetation, steep
> slopes with gravity winds and gol dang houses right in the middle of
> it.  One word friends: GOATS!
>
> >Build soil,
> >
> >Loren
> >
> >
> >=====
>
> Mark P. Ludwig
> Poultry Research Lab
> University of Wisconsin -Madison
> 608-262-1730 WK
> 608-846-7125 HM
>
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