Deforestation debunked

Here’s a topic which comes up from time to time. I just updated the DOW library with an article debunking the “woodgas causes deforestation” myth. Doug Brethower sent me his observations which prompted the article.

If you haven’t seen these numbers yet, take a look. We’re not in any danger of using up all the trees… in fact we could run all our passenger vehicles on wood using less than half the US woodlands. Not to mention tree farming!

Library / Deforestation | Drive On Wood!


thanks for the update. critical info to digest. gas may be cheap at the moment but the minute things take off in the Middle East, that will all change overnite.

Here PNW wetside Nor-Cal, Oregon, Washington, BC Canada, Alaska maritime panhandle we figure on an easy 9,000 to 14,000 dry matter tree growth per acre. 450-700 dino-gallon equivalent of refined fuel-gold.
The secret is the large area three dimensional solar capturing characteristic of out grow year around conifers.
Taking a 50% bio-mass (fiber) harvest every 35-50 years does not deforest.
NOT immediately replanting, or leaving adequate “nurse-seed” trees even would not deforest. Previosly ground shed seeds will eventually reforest. Takes a couple of centuries then.
Even the ground burnt, feets deep inert ash covered Mount Saint Helens blast zone is reforesting from wind blown-in and especially animals poops transported in tree seeds stocks.

What deforests is human greedily taking ALL bio-mass off on a harvest cycle. Leaves no surface/roots zones rotting down tree seedling nutrients.
Putting domestic animals grazing/browsing/foraging will kill all tree seeds that try to grow. Couple of intensive animal years and all seeds starts will have been eaten - none in-ground left to reforest.
And of course the quickest way to deforest is to rip-out all of the stumps. Gather, collect up, and remove or burn all of the limbs and tops.
Then cover that once forest productive lands in housing projects, asphalt, concrete “human” ant mounds.
Very, Very hard to reforest convert back from these last three zero start land raped dead conditions.

This pictured forest land had been rough horse/steam donkey harvested pre-1902. Wildfire bunt then in Sept 1902, again in the 19teens, then 19twenties.
Self-regenerated back to the back ground trees now 95-75 years later.
Be man replanted now this week. Ready for reharvest in 35-50 years.

There-in is the greatest challenge to trees as fuels . . . . needs a multi-generational approach.
Does not fit the current culture of quick/instant gratification. “Harvest” Raping and land converting to housing projects money buys myopic me a new boat, a Harley, drugs, whoo-ha internet speeds and all my other of today’s hasta’s.

This is how many tree we harvested off of this 10 acres.
43 self-seeded original genetic stocks baby trees edged saved.
We will re-plant 3000 area derived nursery stock DF seedlings. Expect a couple of hundred more in-ground seedlings to spring up.
Theses are all for the next family generation.


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hi Chris,
at the end of the article that you provided a link to, i get a line that says “discussion loading” but never loads. i was wondering if you have the link to that article to access it directly. thanks.

thanks S.U. for your comments. question: are the nursery stock DF (douglas fir?) seedlings genetically identical to the natural seedlings popping up out of the ground? do they grow at the same rate?


Unfinished section of the site. Eventually there will be article comments there powered by DIscourse.

That is a direct link…

Hey RobinR the commercial seedlings we will use are from within our county sourced native Douglas Fir trees.
Still . . . a narrower, fewer parent diversity. Just like hatchery salmon and steel-head fish.
No choice on this. WE must by state law replant with-in two years of harvest to keep our forest designation.

Thanks Chris and Steve for the replies.