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Old 09-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #43
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Taft , Texas
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Very interesting thread. We just got back from a 10.500 mile trip from South Texas to Alaska. We saw devastated forests in several places, BC, and the Yukon being two of these. Of course the firewood bans are everywhere.
We stopped in the wilds of the Yukon and did a walk through a spruce forest decimated by spruce beatles. What a surprise to read the info signs along this trail. Seems this is natural. The spruce beetles only kill the weak trees which were unable to secret enough sap to cover the beetle, thus stopping it from laying eggs. The info described how to pick some of this sap off the trees and see the dead beetle inside. This was a forest in the tundra where a 2" diameter tree is nearly 100 years old. Bottom line: This is natures way of killing off the weak and allowing the healthy young trees below to get sunlight and grow.
I'm not taking sides on this issue, just passing on some information I found interesting, and that broadened my thinking.
Perhaps we humans, who only live a handful of decades, are not able to understand natures big picture. The largest trees in that Yukon forest were four or five hundred years old, perhaps old enough to make room for the younsters, healthy little trees, coming along too low to the ground to even be noticed from the road.

Matt & Virginia Kline
On Nueces Bay, near Portland TX
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:37 PM   #44
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Matt, what you say is true to an extent. The same thing tends to happen to the conifers in Colorado, whether it be the piņon in the hotter, drier places, or the ponderosa and lodgepole in the wetter, cooler places.

But drought and hotter temps have changed what was previously a natural process. Drought means less sap to kill the invading beetles. Hotter temps often go with drought, and mean there is less chance cold temps to kill off some of the beetles.

Beetles that reproduced once every year, or once every two years, reproduce several times a year during drought and during higher temps, thoroughly overwhelming forests.

On our land, 300-500 year old piņons died in the worst drought years in the early part of the last decade along with the "young" trees. Whole stands of piņon were wiped out and only the juniper mostly resisted.

The forests in the Rockies, from Mexico to Canada, are suffering. Trees that have never been attacked by beetles have been hit in the last decade. Other species periodically have been hit, but now the process has accelerated to much more frequent hits on trees. There are places here where you can see most of a forest dead. We saw the same in Alaska and Yukon when we were there.


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Old 10-16-2010, 04:20 PM   #45
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Same problem in Florida with an imported beetle with its destructive fungus. Buy wood locally.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #46
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I bring my own wood with me. It's usually 2x4's, 2x6's or other left over lumber from some construction or remodeling work. This wood has been kiln dried & any critter or disease has been killed off. It's the only safe wood to transport. Don't use wood that you've had sitting out behind the garage for a couple of months. Critters can move into it in that short of a time.

I've even gone to the big box stores to purchase their wood that was too warped or twisted to sell.

"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:36 PM   #47
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How was your trip in your 23' FB Flying Cloud. I just bought the same unit on 09/29 and plan to head to Alaska next year. Any important notes for me with respect the the unit and how it handled in Alaska?
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:10 PM   #48
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What a sad thread.

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