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Thread: Sensible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Wateree, South Carolina

    Default Sensible

    To save SC’s forests, environmentalists must work in tandem with forest landowners

    JUNE 26, 2020 05:53 PM

    South Carolina needs to engage in a new strategy for forest conservation in the 21st century.

    Conservation began with forestry more than a century ago, leading President Teddy Roosevelt to state that the conservation movement was “a direct outgrowth of the forest movement.”

    During the 21st century, sustainability and environmental stewardship are the central components of the wood and paper products industry.

    With increasing urbanization, more demands are being placed on our forest for example, projections show up to a 22% loss of forest land in the Piedmont region by 2060 — and the Charleston metro area is adding 38 new residents a day.

    Urbanization is the biggest threat to forests, and private landowners are essential in efforts to maintain and increase our forest lands; indeed, there are currently 200,000 forest landowners in South Carolina.

    So to encourage private landowners to fully engage with forest conservation, we must adopt a new strategy that:

    ▪ Takes a non-regulatory approach to the practice of forestry.

    ▪ Creates new markets for landowners.

    ▪ Establishes a more favorable tax structure for timberland owners.

    ▪ Promotes conservation easements that allow for the management of timber.

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    ▪ Protects private property rights.

    It is clear that environmental policy on private timberlands must move away from regulation and litigation, which is an approach that increases the cost of land management. If we fail to move away from this approach, it will result in the selling of timberlands to developers.

    In the 21st century, here is the question that the environmental movement must ask: “Is it better for a piece of property to remain as a working forest — or be used to expand urban sprawl?”

    With the huge budget deficit, the federal government cannot be expected to buy sufficient amounts of forest land to achieve the climate and ecological outcomes that are so important.

    And the reality is that we shouldn’t want the federal government to own the majority of forests.

    We must act now to ensure that our state has sufficient forests to provide clean air, clean water, flood control, wildlife habitat, recreation and timber. To achieve this, environmentalists and government officials should cooperate with landowners to achieve their objectives by focusing on the shared outcomes they desire.

    The fact is the vast majority of forest landowners are champions of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

    If environmentalists and government officials would view forest landowners as allies, we could achieve great conservation outcomes in the future.

    Cam Crawford is president of the Forestry Association of South Carolina.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Camden, SC


    Makes a lot of sense.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    I agree and disagree. A forester can be a developers best friend due to their lack of regulation.


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