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should forests be fully owned or partially owned by the commons?

 
Wesley johnsen
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i want to get some opinions on preserving forests and do you think forests are better off being owned fully by organizations and or gov for full commons ownership or do you think private stewards like tree farmers should be the owners? i fear commons will take away the rewards of private timber sales but i still like land being open to the public. i know in the northeast u.s. they like the easement route where a private stewards work the land while a conservation easement and public access easement are placed on the land through the state gov, land trust or organization like say the nature conservancy. any opinions would be helpful.
 
Miles Flansburg
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That is a tough one for me too Wesley, My land is real close to national forest land and I really enjoy hiking and fishing for days on end there. I also use BLM land the same way. But I also see large tracts of land that could be put to use permaculturally and be much more productive in private hands.
I also see some goverment agencies spraying pesticides and not allowing folks entry into public lands.
 
Milan Broz
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I'm from Croatia, ex. Yugoslavia, where we had quite good experiance with public/common ownership, and quite bad with private one. Everything that worked well as a public property was wasted and destroyed after being sold to private investors. I guess this has to be related to what kind of tradition you have. There must be places in the world where private investors have more responsibility then governments, so as oposites.
 
wayne stephen
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Small tracts of land managed by responsible proprieters are best. Large tracts of wilderness by public ownership. Ultimately though , the best would be a global society with stewardship , sustainability , and biodiversity as prime directives. What good does it do if private citizens or government officials are only in it for the quick bucks ?
 
Ichabod Shorthouse
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wayne stephen wrote:Small tracts of land managed by responsible proprieters are best. Large tracts of wilderness by public ownership. Ultimately though , the best would be a global society with stewardship , sustainability , and biodiversity as prime directives. What good does it do if private citizens or government officials are only in it for the quick bucks ?


hmm, I prefer private ownership. As an avid anti-globalist I would say that globalalism as a form of government controling organization would be far too removed to even begin to understand what would be needed on a local level. Land regulations would be mired down in beuracracy. As an American, private ownership is one of the founding principal so I certainly wouldn't want to go away from that.
 
Cj Sloane
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In Vermont we have a "current use" plan which gives the property owner a break on property taxes if a forest management plan is in place. The danger is if you can't find a forest who shares your vision of what the plan should be.

We also have an "open land" policy which encourages allowing the public to use private land. Key to this is no "attractive nuisance" law. The guy who owns the land with an abandoned quarry lets people swim there without fear of liability if someone gets injured (as long as people don't pay for the privilege).
 
Brenda Groth
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I live in Michigan where we have both STATE land forests and private forests..the state land forests are a great benefit to the State of Michigan and I highly recommend that the state continue to own this land..consumers Power company also owns a ton of land in Michigan, much of it along rivers..and it is mostly wilderness other than camping and fishing access..some misuse by offroaders.

Also in N Michigan, we have a lot of privately owned forest and woodlands..much of it interconnected across property lines, esp in our area. Thus a lot of the forest continues to be highly preserved by small to large landowners..and many of us are planting a lot of diversity of trees on our property..between myself and our neighbor to the west, we have together planted several hundred trees in the past several years..and generally remove only dead or dying trees ..and always leave some for the woodpeckers and critters standing deadwood.

can't speak of other states.
 
wayne stephen
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I see that Ichabod caught my term "global society" and thought N.W.O. Actually , I just meant an ethos globally of stewardship. To me , private or governmental are a moot point without the ethics . Salatins use of his 450 acres of wood is a great example of private stewardship. I do feel though that the last remaining wilderness areas need to be preserved without concern for their market value or usefullness to humans . Who would invest in such a scheme ?
 
Milan Broz
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We are actually managers, not the owners. Land can not be owned, but we can play a game in which we own something. The reason for this is becouse land existed before a man, and first man did not buy the land, but take it. So he never became owner, but only a user. Of course, not the only user, each part of the land has millions of users, from microscopic organisms to the human society. If you own a land, does a hedgehog need a permission to enter? If not, than why another man does? If we stick to the idea that all land must be owned by someone, than a man would have less rights than any other living organism. If a man, like Salatin, can be a good manager for huge land, that's great, give this man more land. If another is bad manager, wasting most precious resources he has, then why he still has an oportunity to buy more land? But who would decide who is good and who is bad manager? From my point of view, society. It could also be a comunity, does not have to be a nation, but it should be something bigger than a man.
 
nustada adatsun
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Ichabod Shorthouse wrote:
wayne stephen wrote:Small tracts of land managed by responsible proprieters are best. Large tracts of wilderness by public ownership. Ultimately though , the best would be a global society with stewardship , sustainability , and biodiversity as prime directives. What good does it do if private citizens or government officials are only in it for the quick bucks ?


hmm, I prefer private ownership. As an avid anti-globalist I would say that globalalism as a form of government controling organization would be far too removed to even begin to understand what would be needed on a local level. Land regulations would be mired down in beuracracy. As an American, private ownership is one of the founding principal so I certainly wouldn't want to go away from that.


For example in my socialist state of Washington, the government claims it owns the water that falls on my property. They have been persecuting people who collect rain any significant amount. Though slowing water runoff is one of the best things we can do for the environment. If anything rain collection and grey water should be mandated. But hypocritically I cant win a lawsuit against them when excessive rain damages something of mine. Though it is hard to legislate against landscaping to hold water so swales are a partial solution.
 
nustada adatsun
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Milan Broz wrote:We are actually managers, not the owners. Land can not be owned, but we can play a game in which we own something. The reason for this is becouse land existed before a man, and first man did not buy the land, but take it. So he never became owner, but only a user. Of course, not the only user, each part of the land has millions of users, from microscopic organisms to the human society. If you own a land, does a hedgehog need a permission to enter? If not, than why another man does? If we stick to the idea that all land must be owned by someone, than a man would have less rights than any other living organism. If a man, like Salatin, can be a good manager for huge land, that's great, give this man more land. If another is bad manager, wasting most precious resources he has, then why he still has an oportunity to buy more land? But who would decide who is good and who is bad manager? From my point of view, society. It could also be a comunity, does not have to be a nation, but it should be something bigger than a man.


So you don't mind if I come onto the property you "manage" and collect some top soil then. I guess in a sense I agree with you, as long as I have to pay property tax, I am renting my land.
 
John Alabarr
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Depends on whether you are a socialist or a capitalist.


People do tend to take care of things better if its their own private property rather than someone elses. Its human nature.
 
Paulo Bessa
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Milan Broz wrote:I'm from Croatia, ex. Yugoslavia, where we had quite good experiance with public/common ownership, and quite bad with private one. Everything that worked well as a public property was wasted and destroyed after being sold to private investors. I guess this has to be related to what kind of tradition you have. There must be places in the world where private investors have more responsibility then governments, so as opposites.


In my own experience, public land is more often well preserved than private land, when it comes to larger areas, because is usually meant for that land to be used for exploration of some resource, for construction or other way of generating money. Smaller areas are often better kept by private owners such as a family. I have seen this is many countries.

Depends on whether you are a socialist or a capitalist.
People do tend to take care of things better if its their own private property rather than someone elses. Its human nature.


In my humble opinion, we should have a mix of both systems. A small amount of private property for each person is desirable, but it is not fair that certain individuals own a lot of land, while others own nothing (like me).

Also it is not fair when certain individuals damage their land because they own it and see it as an opportunity for their private gain (money making at the expense of the environment).

As Gandhi said once, it is good for those who own a lot of land that gave a little bit of it to everyone, so that the ones without land, can use it too.

Everyone knows believes too strongly in capitalism and private owning because is was our heritage education, but if we would have been raised otherwise, we would probably see it as all natural the common shared owing of the land. Unfortunately when a human thinks something, it is very difficult to change that thought. There is a very unfair distribution of land and resources nowadays, both amongst countries and individuals, and I only have the vision that this will result in war or uprisings if not dealt urgently. But how you do it? People do not seem fond of giving away their land or sharing it.

 
A Philipsen
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In my humble opinion, we should have a mix of both systems. A small amount of private property for each person is desirable, but it is not fair that certain individuals own a lot of land, while others own nothing (like me).
Like Distributivism?

I like having a bit of land, I also like the publicly owned forests that I live near. I appreciate that the private company that owns the majority of the timber land around us is pretty relaxed about people hunting, hiking, etc on their land, even though some jerks dump their trash and have campfires up there in the dry season. I don't know that I'd be so generous. It's possible nearly any system is doable if the general population values the land and none will be great if they don't. There are a few public areas that I no longer go to because the people who camp around there are filthy pigs, judging by what they leave behind. Since it happens on the public lands and the large private tracts both, I'm inclined to say it's not the style of ownership that is the problem.
 
leila hamaya
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Wesley johnsen wrote:i want to get some opinions on preserving forests and do you think forests are better off being owned fully by organizations and or gov for full commons ownership or do you think private stewards like tree farmers should be the owners? i fear commons will take away the rewards of private timber sales but i still like land being open to the public. i know in the northeast u.s. they like the easement route where a private stewards work the land while a conservation easement and public access easement are placed on the land through the state gov, land trust or organization like say the nature conservancy. any opinions would be helpful.


the question suggests these are the only two options, i think theres a few other options and all of those are better than these two choices.

the way i see it the forest belongs to the animals and plants that live within it. anything else is totally an illusion. the forest rightfully belongs to the community of beings that live there, human and non human, and should be managed for the good of all. this is not nearly as impossible or impractical as it could sound.

if only the trees,animals and plant communities would organize a bureau of people management !!! =)
 
wayne stephen
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Locally in Western Kentucky we have an odd example of private stewardship. Peabody Coal { they who have "tortured the timbers and stripped all the land"-John Prine} has created oasis' of biodiversity open to public use. Around here they are called "stripper pits". You can gain access to these enclaves of abundance by purchasing a "Peabody Permit" when you buy your hunting/fishing license. If you don't hunt or fish , just buy the permit and hike or swim. About $12 a year . These spots are used up strip mines that have been denuded of coal. Peabody then takes huge tracts of them - some are small lakes and some little ponds - and allows them to fill with water and stocks them with game fish . The surrounding land is reforested with natives. These areas are full of life - lespedanza , quail , deer , sassafras , turkey , berries , rabbit , squirrel . I believe the economic incentive is that the land due to mining is unsafe for homes , industry - and also the future prospect of more efficient coal extraction which will let them go back in and get more , more , more. Sometimes tracts are sold off to private investors - the best 5000 acres was sold off to some NASCAR dudes who are keeping it for private hunting land. Really these are fantastic little spots and I challenge anyone to find Public owned land as biodiverse {at least in this bioregion}.
 
Allan Babb
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Wesley johnsen wrote:i want to get some opinions on preserving forests and do you think forests are better off being owned fully by organizations and or gov for full commons ownership or do you think private stewards like tree farmers should be the owners? i fear commons will take away the rewards of private timber sales but i still like land being open to the public. i know in the northeast u.s. they like the easement route where a private stewards work the land while a conservation easement and public access easement are placed on the land through the state gov, land trust or organization like say the nature conservancy. any opinions would be helpful.


I'd say start an organization just for the protection of specific forests. Government, usually, does a terrible job when it comes to local issues(there are exceptions, of course). The same issues can be applied to any other organization on a national, or state, scale. You can work with those agencies, but keep all decision making between the locals. With just locals being in control, you can easily set up guidelines and rules that are pertinent to your neck of the woods(pun intended!). That's my $0.02 on the subject.
 
Have you seen Paul's rant on CFLs?
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