Page 1

The New Yorl(

Forest Owner


Marchi April 2000

Volume 38 Number 2




Officers & Directors Ronald Pedersen, President 22 Vandenburg Lane, Latham, NY 12110; (518) 785-6061 Jim Minor, Vice President 22 Bryn Mawr Road Rochester, NY 14624; (716) 247-7069 Robert Sykes, Secretary 4786 Foster Road Elbridge, NY 13060; (315) 673-3691 Don Wagner, Treasurer 5330 Graham Road, Utica, NY 13502; (315) 733-7391

In This Issue

• • •



























Hugh Canham, N. Syracuse, (315) 457-4972 John Hastings, Queensbury, (518) 798-0248 Ronald Pedersen, Latham, (518) 785-6061 Betty Wagner, Utica, (315) 733-7391




Jill Cornell, Johnsonville, (518) 753-4336 Nick Polce, Remsen, (315) 831-5301 Dave Swaciak, Franklinville, (716) 676-2349 Robert Sykes, Elbridge, (315) 673-3691



Deborah Gill, Administrative Secretary P.O. Box 180 Fairport, NY 14450; (716) 377-6060














Harry Dieter, Honeoye Falls, (716) 533-2085 Mike Greason, Catskill, (518) 943-9230 Jack Hamilton, Wayland, (716) 728-5769 RolfWentorf, Johnsonville, (518) 753-0228



Chapter Representatives Charlie Mowatt, Allegheny Foothills; (716) 676-3617 Stephen Davison, Cayuga; (315) 496-2392 Joan & Hans Kappel, Capital District; (518) 861-8753 John Druke, Central New York; (315) 656-2313 Gene McCardle, Lower Hudson; (914) 945-0504 Pat Ward, Northern Adirondack; (315) 268-0902 Don Fraser, Niagara Frontier; (716) 773-7011 Peter Gregory, SE Adirondack; (518) 399-1812 Larry Lepak, Southern Tier; (607) 656-8504 Peter Smallidge, Southern Finger Lakes; (607) 255-4696 Jim Minor, Western Finger Lakes; (716) 247-7069

The New York Woodland Stewards, Inc. (NYWS) is a 501(c)3 foundation of NYFOA and tax deductible donations to this organization will advance NYFOA's educational mission, All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without prior written permission from the publisher. NYFOA does not necessarily support or approve procedures, products, or opinions presented by authors or advertisers. ©2000 New York Forest Owners Association










The New Yorl(

Forest Owner



The New York Forest Owner is a bi-monthly publication by The New York Forest Owners Association, P. O. Box 180, Fairport, N. Y. 14450. Materials submitted/or publication should be sent to: Mary Beth Malmsheimer, Editor, The New York Forest Owner, 134 Lincklaen Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035. Materials may also be e-mailed to Articles, artwork and photos are invited and if requested, are returned after use. The deadline/or submission/or the May/June issue is Aprill, 2000.

Please address all membership fees and change of address requests to P.O. Box 180, Fairport, N. Y. 14450. 1-800-836-3566. Cost of individual membership/subscription is $20.


Sled hauling during winter logging in the Adirondacks. Date unknown. Photo courtesy of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry archives. The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • Marchi April 2000

FT~President here is a lot going on in NYFOA's life right now. Lots to do, lots to think about. It's great! We're excited about the opportunity to obtain some publicity help for NYFOA. A grant from New York Woodland Stewards, Inc. will make possible some part time public information help. Our purpose is to raise the visibility of NYFOA and encourage more landowners to think about why they own woodlots and how they might better realize their goals, be they wildlife, timber, recreation or any of the many environmental and economic benefits that flow from open space and woodlots. Options on how to best use the grant are now being considered. Possibilities include helping chapters publicize their events and other local forestry items, and establishing a periodic general interest column for publications around the state. The chapter publicity suggestion might mean a point person to receive basic information from chapters on an upcoming chapter event. A release with a local contact name would then be distributed to newspapers and radio bulletin boards in the chapter's area. I'd welcome your ideas as your Board of Directors plans implementation of this great opportunity for NYFOA. The letter on page 12 from Jill Cornell, President of New York Woodland Stewards, presents an impressive record of programs made possible as a result of NYFOA's establishment of this tax -exempt charitable educational corporation. But, there are thousands of landowners in New York who could benefit from forest management help. To help reach them, I encourage you to consider a tax-deductible contribution to NYWS.


On February 8th, the State Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Joint Legislative Commission on Rural Resources held a public hearing in Albany on timber theft - the extent of the problem and further steps needed to thwart it. Speakers included landowners, law enforcement officers, private forestry consultants, wood industry representatives, and government agencies. Many suggestions were advanced on ways to better educate all parties while working to "level the playing field" between seller and buyer, landowner and logger. Hugh Canham's article on page 18 summarizes many of the points raised. NYFOA was well represented among those testifying, including Mike Greason, Hugh Canham, and myself from the Board of Directors. My thanks to all who made the effort to share their views with the members of the Senate. If we don't speak for private land owners, who will? Our spring meeting will take place on Saturday, March 18th in Syracuse. Jim Minor and Betty Wagner have assembled a great group of speakers. The fun of a silent auction jointly with the NY Tree Farm Committee is back again by popular demand. Bring an item to be auctioned! Meet new friends! Learn something new! It's not too late to register. Don't be left out! April will be busy, too. Plans are underway for the Cornell Cooperative Extension April 15th satellite downlink to counties on the "Economics of Forest Stewardship," with NYFOA chapters helping with afternoon programs. (Some counties are presenting it on a later date.) If information hasn't reached you, call your county extension office or NYFOA's Jerry Michael (607-648-2941; I can almost smell the sap boiling ...

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • Marchi April 2000

- Ron Pedersen President

· , Jam

NYFOA is a not-forprofit group of NY • State landowners promoting stewardship of private forests. Stewardship puts into practice knowledge of forest ecosystems, silviculture, local economies, watersheds, wildlife, natural aesthetics and even law for the long term benefit of current and future generations. NYFOA, through its local chapters, provides this knowledge for landowners and the interested public. Join NYFOA today and begin to receive the many benefits including: six issues of The New York Forest Owner, woodswalks, chapter meetings, and two statewide meetings for all members. I1We would like to support good forestry and stewardship of New York's forest lands

( ) I1We own acres of woodland. ( ) I1We do not own woodland but support the Association's objectives. Name:


Address: -------------City: _



Telephone: County of Residence:

_ _

County of Woodlot:


Referred by:


Annual Dues (Please Circle One): Student $10 Individual $20 Family (co-owners) $25 Contributing $30-$100 Sponsoring $10 1 + Please make check payable to New York Forest Owners Association, or, if you prefer, by check payable to New York Woodland Stewards, Inc. (NYWS, a tax deductible foundation), including any contribution in excess of your NYFOA membership and send to: NYFOA P.O. Box 180 Fairport, New York 14450 1-800-836- 3566


In The


The letter below is the response, by a NYFOA member, to a "Letter to the Editor" published in the Corning Leader in December 1999 entitled "Where have all the forests gone?" The letter writer discussed a clear cut that took place by her family's property in Lindley, NY and questioned, "why isn't there some kind of code or law that says you cannot clear a hill down to the ground?" The lady had some interesting points and I could understand her concern. I was once against clearcutting the forests, due to a multitude of reasons. However, I changed my outlook after I was enlightened by observing clear-cut areas after a few years and the long-term effects of the process. Also, my property borders the clear-cutting operation in Lindley for approximately 1,261 feet. I would not clear-cut any of my land, but have no objection to the process, especially on relatively flat land and with consideration for runoff, regeneration, access, etc. I purchased several hundred acres of farmland and forest approximately ten years ago. The farmer who I purchased that land from indicated to me that he had clear-cut approximately 271 County Road#9 Chenango Forks,NY 13746

one hundred (100) acres of his land approximately ten years ago and that his neighbors were quite upset with him for treating his forest in that manner. However, ten years ago the forest was coming back very healthy and it appeared that the deer, turkey, bear, grouse and squirrels were plentiful and that the one hundred acres provided a haven for the animals. After a few years the neighbors eased up on the complaints, especially when the forest came back in an acceptable manner. I now own approximately forty (40) acres of the previous clearcut and this area is home to most of the animals on my land. I was still not convinced of the clear-cut advantages until I joined the New York Tree Farm Organization and was approved by a New York forester to proudly display a New York Tree Farm sign. With my admission to the organization, I attended regional meetings and went on various tours. On one tour we were taken to a tract of state forests in the Savona area. We visited several sites that were clear-cut at various times in the past. That is, from one year to twenty years. I was quite surprised to observe an area that was clear-cut four years ago and how the new growth has developed into a haven for multiple 607 648~5512

animals. They received protection by the cover and the cover provided for a generous food supply. The first year or two of the clearcut are the most unsettling, but the animals will return after that time. The re-growth may take fifty, seventy-five, or maybe one hundred years, but that is to re-harvest the trees. The animals enjoy the benefit of the clear-cut area in a couple years and in a few years the trees would re-forest naturally. The article questions codes to control clear-cutting and logging. Could be that we have enough laws to govern our land now. This area that is being timbered is not on a steep incline, but generally level or rolling grounds. If done correctly, I do not see any damage to watershed, erosion, etc. The Lindley town supervisor has utilized common sense in the approach to not over-legislating and is doing a good job. I subscribe to the local newspaper and am quite pleased in the manner the local decision-makers are leading Lindley, New York. 4. NOTE: We built a home in Lindley, New York and spend weekends there at this time. -Edward Piestrak Nanticoke, PA Editors Note: This letter was submitted by NYFOA member, Edward Piestrak





Appraisals Timber Sales

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8 Stonehurst Queensbury,

Drive NY 12804

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The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000



maginefor a moment that you are a crew member with the French explorer, Jacques Cartier in the winter of 1535-36. You are very ill and you expect to die soon. In the fall you sailed through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and up the St. Lawrence River to Hochelaga, a Huron camp. There Cartier climbed a height of land and named it Mont Real. But from the promontory he observed upstream "a sault of water," the most impetuous one could possibly see. That "sault" was the La Chine Rapids that effectively blocked your passage. So your three ships retreated to another Huron camp, Stadacona, at the mouth of the St. Charles River where you have built a small fort. (In later years this will become Quebec City). Earlier Donnaconna, the chief of these Hurons, had warned you that your trip to Hochelaga would lead to your death. Winter arrived early in full force. "From mid-November," Cartier will later write, your ships have been "frozen in ice thicker than two arms length, and the snow piled to four or more feet." And now, early in the new year, Donnaconna's prophesy seems to be playing out. You and every other crew member have become progressively sicker with "the pestilence." Already 25 of the 110 have died and you are one of 40 more near death. Your legs are swollen and covered with purple blotches. Your gums are rotting and you can feel the few teeth you still retain loose in your mouth. You are in constant pain and can hardly see. Less than a dozen men are well enough to tend their dying shipmates: "a thing pitiful to see," records your captain. Although the Hurons have been friendly, Cartier is afraid that they will

take advantage of your troubles to attack. Under his orders and sick as you are, you must occasionally call out and clap rocks to suggest activity within the closed-off fort. But now Donnaconna, who has recovered from the disease himself, tells Cartier of a tree, the anneda, that provides a curative. Indian women show the captain how to make tea by grinding the anneda's bark and fronds and boiling them in water. Cartier himself spoons out this evil-tasting potion, and you almost immediately feel miraculously better. "All the doctors of Europe," Cartier will write, "could not have done as much in a year as this tree did in one week." The disease that beset you and your comrades was, of course, Scurvy, the bane of anyone whose diet contains no fruits and vegetables that provide vitamin C. It will be another 260 years before the British fleet is ordered to carry lime juice, effectively eradicating this dreaded sailor's affliction. The anneda, its evergreen foliage and bark both rich in this vitamin, will later be misnamed the white cedar for it is not related to the Old World and Biblical Cedars. Your captain is so impressed with its curative powers that he will carry specimens back to France. It will be the first native American tree transplanted to Europe. And based on this harrowing experience, it will come to be known by a better name, the tree of life-arborvitae. As I write, I can see through my study window a hedge of arborvitae across the street. They stand like green tenpins, conical and with a dusting of white snow. In swampy areas and damp forests they grow taller, in the open maintaining this compact cylindri-

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • Marchi April 2000

cal shape even when they reach 50 to 80 feet. Arborvitae are easy to identify by this shape, their twisted and shaggy trunk, and their delicate evergreen branchlets that are flat-they seem pressed-and yellowish. I invite you to associate, as I do, this lovely evergreen the arborvitae, with the salvation of those Hurons and 85 French explorers."

This article, which originally appeared in The Buffalo News, was sent to The New York Forest Owner by NYFOA member Bernard Lawn.


Ph. (716) 665-5477 Fax. (716) 664-5866 e-mail 1894 CAMP ST. EXT. JAMESTOWN, NY 14701



tumpage prices for most species of trees grown in New York have increased dramatically over the past few decades. Are they going to hold, continue to go up, or fall? No one knows for sure. We can expect they will both rise and decline with the seasons, stock market conditions, global economy, species popularity shifts and so on. So what implications should these current prices have on landowner management decisions? I'll share my personal perspectives. When I first moved to New York to become a forester in the Catskill office of the then Conservation Department in the fall of 1969, I marked my first timber sale for an Albany County forest owner. I was aghast when 106 thousand board feet (MBF) of red oak sold for $13/MBF. A few years earlier when I was a logger in western Massachusetts, I paid $25/MBF. I strived to increase competition in the area by encouraging more loggers and competitive bidding. Soon prices escalated to $45/MBF and I enthusiastically encouraged my clients to sell their oak. I remembered that in the late sixties, hard maple became popular for bowling alleys in Japan and the stumpage prices rose from $15/MBF to $781 MBF only to crash back to around $20 a couple of years later. Also during the fifties and early sixties, oak was not popular and was left behind as too low in value to be bothered with. So $451 MBF seemed great; let's sell before the price changes. Well change it did. My last sale for a client commanded over



Slicer veneer hard maple is drawing prices as high as black cherry. Black cherry is bringing stumpage



prices higher than what I have paid for FAS grade, kiln dried, surfaced cherry lumber within the past two years. Soft maple has also come into demand, not at hard maple prices; but it surely can no longer be considered a weed. Even beech, if sound and over 14" at the tip end of the log, is selling well at a local export yard. So should forest owners take advantage of these prices and highgrade or strip their forest resource? Not in my opinion! Having worked with and watched stumpage prices for about four decades, I would recommend treating your forest land as one of your most important investment portfolios. Why gut the machinery out of your factory when your factory is demonstrating excellent profit returns? If anything, I would recommend being even more conservative. Take time to look at each tree and evaluate how it is growing. If it is doing well, not in a state of decline, and is not biologically over-mature, thin around it and encourage it to grow at its best potential. Take out the high risk trees. Look at the residual stand instead of the maximum money you might extract. Remove a high value tree if it releases another high potential crop tree. But do not remove a crop tree to leave a low grade, slow growing, wolf or cull tree. That would equate to the example Carl Wiedemann always spoke of in shooting horses who win, place and show in every horse race while claiming to manage for thoroughbreds. Remember, if you save enough to expect to reenter your forest every ten years for a more valuable harvest, you can reenter the stand sooner if a family financial crisis arises that demands

sacrificing the woodlot. Just take a long honest look at your resource and make the best decision for the stewardship of your resource in the long run. If after inventorying the stand, you find that most of the trees are decadent, low value, or in other ways not capable of performing well then consider a shelterwood or clearcut harvest. Still do not highgrade; rather make a management decision on the basis of the forest condition. Look at existing regeneration on the forest floor and be sure of adequate seedlings before clearcutting. One compelling reason to manage your forest according to good silviculture is the annual real property tax bill is going to come each year whether you have good timber growing or not. If you plan to retain your land, protect its potential to carry the holding costs. As society begins to recognize forest management, as I believe it will in light of worldwide recognition of our resource, well managed forests will become worth more at the time of property transfers. Granted, historically timber has not had much impact on land sale values-but that may change fairly soon. What are some of the things that would help this recognition develop? For one, a revision to Real Property Tax Law Section 480-a to call for state reimbursement to localities and continued on page 7


The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • MarchiApril 2000

Stumpage Prices (con't) to make it more user-friendly by removing a mandated work schedule, would encourage many more participants. This could commit a few million acres of forest to management. Further, addressing your right to practice forestry protected from local timber harvesting ordinances would ensure confidence in forestry. And, strengthening protection from timber theft through improved legislation and rigorous prosecution of timber thieves would help. Also, gaining additional staffing to DEC's service forestry program would give forest owners an introduction to information from an unbiased source without necessarily competing with the private sector. And finally, from my personal perspective, hiring consultant foresters on an hourly basis, rather than by commission on forest products sold, would remove the age-old perception of a conflict of interest in managing timber harvests. Yet you as forest owners must recognize that you are responsible for what happens to your forest land investment. Make informed decisions and care for your land and in doing so your land should take care of you." Michael Greason, a NYFOA member, is a Consulting Forester and 1993 winner of NYFOA's Heiberg Award.

Nolan'. 'Sporting Supplle. Outdoor EquIpment Speclollst 37 . ~7 Genesee Street Auburn, NY 13021

Satellite Videoconference: Economic Aspects of Private Forestland Stewardship


should contact their local office of ationalexperts will present Cornell Cooperative Extension or their perspectives to private forest NYFOA Chapter Chair for the closest landowners on strategies to downlink location. A field-based take control over the revenue potential follow-up session is planned through of private lands and for landowners to many NYFOA chapters and Cooperareduce their tax burden. Private forest tive Extension offices, but check with landowners throughout New York may local contacts for details or visit the have several opportunities to obtain NYFOA web site at more income from their property, but Sites wishing to downlink should need to learn which strategies best fit th contact Deanna Owens at Cornell their circumstances. On April 15 , University at (607) 255-2814. 2000 from 9:00 am to noon, Cornell Co-sponsors of this event include University will broadcast this finanCornell Cooperative Extension, cially focused satellite NYFOA, Penn State University, video conference . University of Maryland, Rutgers In addition to presentations by University, the University of New forest landowners, speakers will Hampshire, and the University of include Jonathan Kays discussing Connecticut .•. which personal attributes you need to consider before undertaking a new enterprise. Next Bill Hoover will give an introduction to strategies to reduce your federal income tax burden and an overview of a forest landowner income Think of Farm Credit when tax web page. The second half of the broadcast will begin uying a home • Buying a farm with Bob Beyfuss Buying the neighboring woodlot who will look at ginseng and several Estate planning • IRS alternate valuations other examples of • Writing payrolls • Family transfers private forestland enterprises. Finally, • reviewing assessments • Leasing equipment Thorn McEvoy will • preparing your taxes- selling timber describe what you need to consider Forestry consulting & Appraisals when planning for Rick Percoco, NY State Certified Appraiser #46-15788 the ultimate transfer DEC Cooperating Consulting Forester. of your estate. Landowners wishing to participate

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The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000


Your first choice for financial solutions. 394 Route 29, Greenwich, NY 12834 1-(800) 234-0269/



'msure glad to be out in the woods for a change. Sitting in front of a computer all day makes me want to get out in the woods, any woods, even these. Here's the plantation you want to show me? You say it was planted forty years ago? Looks about twenty. But then white spruce is a scraggly, slowgrowing tree, good for nothing but pulp anyway. Should have planted Norway spruce. Grows a lot faster and worth more. Oughta see some of those state plantations; worth a lot of money. White spruce stagnates at about this size. Planted too close; oughta take out every other tree so the rest can grow. If you don't, the reprod dies at about a foot or so. And when you pruned all these spruce you should have gone up to sixteen feet. What's less won't give you a real sawlog no matter how big. Oughta get hold of a motor pruner. They only cost about $900 for a good one. Well worth it for white pine. See you gotta problem with the weevil. Too bad, pine's worth a lot of money if it's straight and clear. Oughta see the pine they have up in Essex County, boy. They grow real timber up there. Here on these thin, poorlydrained upland soils, you just don't get the growth and quality. The maple has too much mineral and the cherry too much gum. Oughta see the black cherry they grow in western New York. Boy, they grow real timber there. Worth two dollars a board foot standing in the woods; what we call stumpage. Couldn't get half that here. You've got some nice pole-sized cherry, but bucks have rubbed the velvet off their antlers on most of them. Oughta put mesh wire around them, about six feet up, or you'll never get any quality logs; they'll all have rotten centers. See you have some yellow birch here, but not worth much; too short and limby. Oughta see the yellow birch up in the Adirondacks; pays its way all the way to Taiwan. They've got real timber up there, boy. You're white ash ain't so bad. See the big one fallen across the road? 8

Better get it out of there or someone will hit it with an ATV and sue you. A lawyer could probably win your case but would cost you a few thousand. Still, it's a nice log. Too bad it fell over. Worth about $500 if you could only get it to a mill. Must be a good place for white ash from the number of seedlings. They won't grow unless you give them more light by thinning the overstory. Deer have chewed off everyone of them. Oughta get a lot more hunters in here to kill off the critters. I've taken so many I do not bother with anything less than a twelve or fourteen pointer. If I can get a good, clean shot at an eight or ten pointer, I might take it, but usually not. I just enjoy being out in the woods with my rifle. But that's another point: I won't wound a deer. With me it's an absolute rule. Either a clean hit or a clean miss. Nothing in between. Last time I wounded a deer I broke its leg with a chancy shot after dark. I did not have a flashlight but the moon was out, and after a couple of miles I caught up and finished it off. Even then my pickup was two miles away, up a mountain and across two streams. Another thing with me, no shots over 800 yards, unless there's a good clean shot and an eighteen or twenty pointer at the other end. See you have a problem with ferns. Better do something about them or they'll take over. Seedlings just won't grow among them. You can get rid of them with a hand sprayer, or you can

hire it done. They'll do it for $140 an acre. I recommend seventy acres a year. That's no more than you pay in real property taxes. Anyone who can afford that money in taxes can afford to get rid of a few ferns. So here's your lake. I remember coming here with my grandfather years ago. There was good fishing then and lots of trees on the banks. Now that the beaver have moved in, they have ruined the fishing and are filling it up with brush. They must have raised the water level two feet and killed all those trees. Trees just can't live growing in mud and muck. Oughta get a trapper to trap 'em out. Probably have to pay him now that beavers ain't worth nothing. Now at last we're coming into some real timber, not quality stuff like what they've got in western New York, but enough to sell on an opportunity basis. Trees this size, 16 to 18 inches, get top-heavy and blow over. What's more out here at the end of your property, someone will probably steal it anyway. They're a bad lot those loggers; keep all their machinery in someone else's name. You can only have a case when you have a picture of him with a chainsaw in one of your trees. Even then you'll have to pay the lawyer more than you can get from the logger. It's a nice lot, though, of white ash and maple. Too bad the understory is all beech and ironwood. They'll never be worth nothing. Both of them sprout even after you cut them down. You'll have to poison the stumps. That will cost you more than you'll ever get for the timber. Well here we are at the cars and I'll say goodbye. I really envy you woodlot owners. With time and good advice, you can make a lot of money. I am thinking of buying a piece myself - fifty acres or so. Not much more but no less. Then I will qualify and other people will pay 80 percent of the taxes .• Henry Kernan, of South Worcester, NY is a consulting forester in World Forestry, NYFOA member and Master Forest Owner. This article represents the variety of advice he has received over the years on his woodlot.

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000

Fall Meeting Plans Underway 'September 22-24) 2000 Mark your calendars for an interesting, informative, and fl11'FfillepStatewide Fall Meeting planned for Friday afternoon, September 22 through Sunday morning September 24, at the Charles. Lathrop Pack Demonstration Forest, Warrensburg, NY. The event is co-sponsored by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The planning committee, consisting of the Capital District Chapter and Southern Adirondack Chapter members, has had their first organizational meeting and will be hosting the Fall Meeting surrounded by the beauty of the AdirondaCks. The Warrensburg area is a beautiful vacation area and there are many things to do and see. AIl Pack Forest facilities will be available for our use. We plan to hold a galbering on Friday night, with a steak or BBQ dinner. Saturdayi'will consist of a day~long technical session, Withthe pos~~2~ty of a starlight cruise on Lake George. We hope to offer some tours on Sunday morning for those who would like to :make a weekend of it. More details.will be available soon. Be sure to look in the next issue of the Forest Owner Jor an article on the history development of Pack Forest Please contact either Peter Gregory (518) 399~1812, or Mary Binder (518) 797-3705 for more infonnation, or if you would like to serve on the committee.


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the Finger LakesTrail: Getting Better Day by Day in Cattaraugus County IRENE SZABO


northeast n Cattaraugus County in southwestern NY (territory of the Allegheny Foothills NYFOA Chapter) the Finger Lakes Trail drops like a rock into trendy Ellicottville beside condo-lined ski slopes from McCarty Hill State Forest above. Between there and the next public land in Boyce Hill State Forest are 18 trail miles of unremitting 2000-foot hills between steep-sided narrow valleys, for here the latest glaciers were petering out and didn't have the "leisure" of grinding out wider, gentler troughs. Between Ellicottville and the next state forest eastward are miles of alternating spectacular views from hilltop fields and then forested hillsides so steep some must be negotiated sitting down when conditions are icy. Hilltop sugar maples predominate, swamps crowd the narrow valleys close by two-lane roads and railroads, and pockets of hemlock shroud shaded slopes. Therefore, between McCarty Hill and Boyce Hill State Forests are 18 miles of beautiful hiking trails through

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privately owned woods and views nobody but the owners would ever see if dozens of landowners hadn't given permission for the FLT to pass there for close to forty years now. These kind souls let ANYBODY ... even me ... see their back woods and their topmost fields, and it is a gift beyond compare. The Foothills Trail Club from the Buffalo area built most of this section as long ago as the mid-sixties, as evidenced by the occasional trace of orange paint behind the current white blazes. Their original vision was to build the Conservation Trail (CT) from Allegany State Park to Niagara Falls. Almost simultaneously the FLT was being invented, starting in 1962 as the brainchild of Wally Wood from Rochester's Genesee Valley Hiking Club. The Conservation Trail was then soon folded into the FLT system. Now the white-blazed main trail goes from the Pennsylvania border in Allegany State Park to the Catskills, and the orange-blazed CT still continues north to Niagara Falls from a junction deep in private woods two miles, by foot, east of NY Route 240. East of that trail junction another trail club, which shall remain nameless for this article, accepted responsibility for continuing the main Finger Lakes Trail. However, some person long past blaming, some member a full generation ago, laid out the route utterly outside the guidelines adopted by all the other signatories of the 1962 original agreements. For they actually built the trail on private land WITHOUT ASKING PERMISSION. How did the Finger Lakes Trail Conference learn this? You'd think an

owner would have pitched a hissy fit upon discovering the trail in their backwoods, wouldn't you? The occasional plastic trail sign gives a P.O. Box address in Rochester for the Finger Lake Trail Conference (FLTC). One of the several landowners between the Foothills Trail Club's portion and the Boyce Hill State Forest could have found easily where to lodge a complaint. None did. Admittedly, probably only three private properties were crossed so utterly without concern for decency, protocol, or legal niceties, since much of the remaining route used to go down an ugly dirt road through bush and swamp and up a viciously steep pipeline "clearing" and down the other side. So, again, how did we learn this if the owners didn't complain? A few years ago I succumbed to Charlie Mowatt's invitation to take the Allegheny Foothills Chapter of NYFOA on a walk on the FLT in McCarty Hill State Forest and tell them about the trail system. While I was blithely explaining how most of our private trail miles were purely handshake agreements, Betty Densmore, then chapter chair, asked ever so sweetly how come nobody had ever even asked her or husband Leonard even though the trail had been already there 30 years? I reveal this mortifying moment after all these years to demonstrate (a) that folks shouldn't judge a whole organization by the actions (or inactions) of a few ignorant twits, and (b) what patient saints the Densmores and their neighbors were. "We've never minded it being there," Betty said, "but we've always kind of wondered why nobody asked." continued on page 11

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • MarchiApril 2000

December's five o'clock gray. Light snow fell, and I fell in love. Right then I knew I had to fix the trail route over the next two miles too, to un-do the ugly dirt road through swamp and that steep pipeline hill. One hiker had complained bitterly that he had to walk the pipeline with a coat held over his head and shoulders to protect against the raspberry canes that had grown up in the years between gas company mowings. Besides, at the other side of that "clearing" was a dangerous creek crossing with no bridge. Knee deep at best, in spring it could float a walker, and nearly drowned short 60-year-old Verna Soules on her cross-state backpacking trip. Immediately after the creek was a railroad, but more on that next time, in addition to some really heartwarming tales of landowners who said YES to new trails, including those with Santa on the roof. •

Subsequent to that embarrassment and symphony of apologies, I personally adopted that section between the junction with the Conservation Trail and Boyce Hill State Forest. After the Densmores' mid-90s selective logging and NYFOA woodswalk on their own property, I rerouted the trail on the wooded west side of their 2100' hill to avoid tree tops and utilize logging roads when they fit. Switchbacks were added to make walking the steepest parts easier. The previously confusing bushy, weedy route from the topmost open viewpoint to the east was either "mowed" with a power weedwhacker or relocated from the underbrush of old fields into adjacent maple woods ... with their permission. Since then, Leonard has taken to mowing the upper field trail - bless him. One December day I was coming out of the Densmore's old fields toward the east at dusk. Directly below was the next quick crease of a valley, visible in its entire as only steep abrupt country will show. The few houses at the bottom were lit with Christmas lights, including a full Santa, sleigh, and reindeer display on one roof. Beyond, rolled and folded in quick succession, more hills and divides in deepening shades of

In addition to tending New York Trails, Irene Szabo is a member of the Western Finger Lakes Chapter of NYFOA and a Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

Want to Learn More About the FLT? Contact them at: Finger Lakes Trail Conference PO Box 18048 Rochester, NY 14618 (716) 288-7191 email: website:


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early morning light,

as it warms the spring snow, weaving in between the darkness of the forest trees, the stars fade into the morning glow. Where moments before stars twinkled bright, and now surrender to a new


so to with branches outstretched, trees wait

silently for spring,

and for the end of winter's gray. - David Binder Westerlo, NY

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The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000


Catskill Forest Assoc. Arkville NY 12406 914-586-3054


OPEN LETTER: To all NYFOA Members Dear New York Forest Owner: This letter is to report on some of the activities of the New York Woodland Stewards, Inc.

What is NYWS? New York Woodland Stewards is a tax exempt educational corporation founded by NYFOA in 1997. It received IRS approval for tax exempt (501c3) status in 1998.

Who is on the NYWS Board? The current board of directors includes: Jill Cornell, President; Peter Levitich, Vice President; Ron Pedersen, Secretary; Phil Walton, Treasurer; and Peter Smallidge, Member at large. Debbie Gill is the Executive Secretary.

What is its purpose? The mission of New York Woodland Stewards is to: • Encourage forest land owners to identify their individual objectives for their forest land and to use professional foresters to develop forest management plans for implementing these objectives. • Promote public understanding of the array of benefits of sound forest management including clean air and water, improved wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aesthetics and timber production. • Support the economic and environmentally sound use of privately owned forest lands, through studies and education, to further the enjoyment of forest benefits today without compromising the ability of future generations to also meet their needs. • Provide resources and information to the public to increase understanding of the


concepts and importance of sound principles of forest management. Foster communication and cooperation with other organizations and agencies with similar purposes.

Who funds NYWS? Although only two years old, NYWS already has: Supported the Family Forest Fair with NYFOA in 1998 which was attended by over 5,000 people. Broadened public understanding of forest resources by helping NYFOA cosponsor Forestry Awareness Day at the state capitol in cooperation with the NY Tree Farm Committee, NY Farm Bureau and the Empire State Forest Products Association. Distributed valuable information on woodland management, including: - Susan Morse's "Keeping Track" wildlife program; - "Call before You Cut," a Cornell Cooperative Extension pamphlet urging forest owners to seek professional advice before selling timber; and - Regional outreach material for Chapters ofNYFOA.

• • •

OTHER LOCATIONS Boston,MA • Albany, VT • Concord, NH Portland and Jackman, ME


Donations from individuals, and grants from private foundations such as the Robert H. Wentorf Foundation, provide the funding for NYWS. You can make a direct contribution, or renew your NYFOA membership through NYWS, and add a contribution at that time. It is tax deductible to the extent of the law. A big "thank you" to all of you who have contributed in the past, along with the fervent hope that your support will continue. Sincerely,

"JjxCo~~ Jill Cornell President New York Woodland Stewards




Currently NYWS is working on: • "New York Forests Forever," an interactive CD-ROM for middle school students on forest benefits for recreation, wildlife, timber and the environment. This project is a partnership of NYFOA, the Northeastern Loggers' Association, and the Empire State Forestry Foundation. • Adding a new introduction and editing NYFOA's "Timber Theft" video, targeting farmers who own woodlots. This project is a cooperative effort with Farm

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Woodlot Calendar

:March 11, 2000 Skidder Bridge Workshop 011 March 11, 2000 from 9-4pm at Langes Groveside, Acra (near Cairo), NY. One Credit of continuing education forlpggers, four credits for foresters involved with SAF. Registration required: $15 ifby March 3, $25 after. Contact Mark Grennan, Hudson Mohawk RC&D Council, Inc. at 518-828-4385 or JustiIlPerry, Watershed Forestry Program at ffJ7-865-7790.

:March 18 , 2000 38U) NYFOA Spring Meeting 8-4pm at SUNY ESF, Marshall Hall, Syracuse NY. Refer to the January /February issue of the Forest Owner for more infonnation. Contact Debbie Gill at (800) 836-3566 to register by March 4, 2000.

region of Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties. A pOrtion of the tour will also take place at the Uihlein Sugar .l'.1apleField Station of Cornell University located near Lake Placid. Please mark the dates for this interesting and infonnative event. More information will be forthcoming. For questions please contact: Lewis J. Staats, at (518)523-9337 or via or Beth Spaugh at eas9@cornelLedu Also of interest to maple producers is the Vermont Maplerama 2()(){) to be held July 27-29, 2000 in Orleans County with headquarters at Jay Peak Resort. The dates for the New York Maple Tour and Vennont Maplerama offer an opportunity and convenience for those who would like to take in both events with one day for travel between the two.

April is, 2000 Statewide downlink with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) landowner videoconference on "Economic Issues of Forest Stewardship." See page 7 for more infonnation.

May 6th, 2000 Workshop for forest owners at Hackley School in Tarrytown NY. Will cover landowner perspectives: natural resource enterprises, managing tax burdens, estate planning, and a panel discussion. Sponsored by LHC chapter of NYFOA, Catskill Forest Association, LHC Society of American Foresters and the Watershed Agricultural Council. For more info contact Gene McCardle at 914-945-0504.

Sarurday,June3,2000 The Western Finger Lakes Chapter is sponsoring a tour of Dansville Logging and Lumber (2 miles south of Dansville on Route 36 on the right) at 10:00 am sharp! Guided tour will be approximately 2 hours. Bring your own safety glasses or goggles. Tour a modem circular saw mill and debarker operations; new planer molding, flooring and siding operations shop; and visit the new 100% wood building with showroom displays of several types of wood finishes on the floor and walls. A luncheon social get together is also planned following the tour at Stony Brook State Park. So pack your lunch and visit with other folks who have a common interest in wood and nature. For more information contact Joe LaBell at (716) 335-6677 or Harry Deiter at (716) 533-2085.

July 23-25,2000 NEW YORK STATE MAPlE TOUR 2()(){) will be hosted by the Northeastern New York Maple Producers Association on July 23-25, 2000. Plans are underway for the New York State Maple Tour to be held in the scenic Adirondack and Lake Champlain region of New York. The tour will be hosted by the Northeastern New York Maple Producers Association in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Department of Natural Resources. The tour will be headquartered at Lake Placid in the Olympic Region but will visit many area maple operations in the tri-county

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000

September 18-20, 2000 FRAGMENfAnON 2000 - A Conference on Sustaining Private Forests in the 21st Century will be held on September 18-20, 2000 in Annapolis, MD at the Radisson HoteL The conference will have three functions; (1) Sharing; Bringing diverse experts together to examine what we know about private forests of all sizes, ranging from small bits to mega-hunks; (2) Comparing: To identify areas of agreement, disagreement or justdon't-know situations regarding prospects for sustaining private forests in the 21st century; and (3) Reporting: Quickly assembling a proceedings that makes the conference papers and discussions widely available through as many communications channels as possible. For more infonnation contact Mike Jacobson, Assistant Professor/Extension Forester, Pennsylvauia State University, School of Forest Resources, 7 Ferguson Building, University Park, PA. 16802 Phone: (814) 863-0401

September 22-24, 2000 NYFOA FaIl Meeting planned. Charles Lathrop Pack Demonstration Forest, Warrensburg, NY. See page 9 for more information.

October 10-13, 2000 SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is pleased to announce the Third Biennial Conference: Short Rotation Woocf.y Crops Operations Group on October 10-13, 2000 in Syracuse, New York Join us for technical presentations and a field tour in New York's scenic Finger Lakes wine country. Hear the latest progress reports from researchers and practitioners. Examine woody energy crops, planting and harvesting equipment, wood-tofuel processing equipment, and a wood/coal co-firing power plant. Please contact SUNY-ESF if interested in providing equipment displays or demonstrations. For more information: Phone: (315) 470-6891 Fax: (315) 4706890 Email: ce@eif.eduWebpage: www.esf.edU/willow


Question I am still cleaning up from Ice Storm '98. One part of my property is a South facing hillside of about 20 acres which was dominated by large poplar (15" DBH x 60'-70'). On the higher sections there is a good mix of red oak and white pine with some of these species under the poplar. If I take out all the poplar how can I assure the spread and enhance the growth of the red oak and the white pine? - John E. Lafferty Wilmington, NY

Answer Both red oak and white pine are naturally occurring species in the Wilmington area. If you remove the ice damaged aspen poplar and you have existing white pine and red oak in the understory, the understory will respond to the release. You will, however, need to nurture this release. The cut aspen will root sprout vigorously, often having dozens of sprouts, some attaining a height of five feet the first year. The number of sprouts can be lessened if you cut the aspen in July and August at the height of the growing season and before the trees ready themselves for next year's growth. In any event, pine and oak reproduction less than six feet in height will need to be released from competing vegetation subsequent to removal of your overstory, aspen. In my experience, you will see a more rapid initial response in white pine, but even this may take 2-3 years. Release does not have to be total as red oak and white pine are moderately shade tolerant;


therefore, scattered trees of desirable species may be left as long as the reproduction receives major sun light. Most of the existing forests in the Town of Wilmington are the result of two actions; (1) clearing the land for agricultural use with subsequent abandonment and (2) repeated cuttings for charcoal, pulpwood, lumber and firewood. Fire has been a part of both processes as occasional, not wholesale occurrences. The soils of Wilmington, except for areas immediately adjacent to certain sections of tbe AuSable River, are all glacial till. Especially on the lower slopes, these soils tend to have imperfect drainage caused by "hard pans" at a depth of one to four feet. Such soils are often very wet in spring and very dry late summer and fall. On these lower slopes softwoods (white pine) are a better long term species group than hardwoods. As hardwood (oak, maples, ash) reach sawtimber size, tbe poor drainage makes them susceptible to root rots and the trees begin a slow decline evidenced by top die-back. The forests of Wilmington are a wonderful mix. The northern hardwood (maple, birch, beech) and the red spruce types invade the area from the central Adirondacks, while the Allegheny hardwoods and New England species come up from the Champlain Valley. All of these are added to by white spruce from Canada and the pioneer species (aspens, white birch, white pine) which cover any and all disturbed lands.

Still another factor is weather. Whiteface mountain at 4,872' forms a block to various weather patterns. The result is nearly 10" more annual precipitation on and to the west of the mountain than east of the mountain. Since both oak and pine are able to grow better in drier soils than northern hardwoods, oak and pine are excellent long term species for much of the Town of Wilmington." This issue's Contributing Forester is Donald Peterson, Consulting Forester, from Wilmington, NY.

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The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • Marcb/April2000

Saratoga's Secret is Out DAVID



aratoga Springs, New York is home to many historical and popular vacation destinations. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, museums, various parks, two racetracks and historical buildings all come to mind when thinking of Saratoga's offerings. No matter what your interests are, this popular city has something to offer you. Yes, even if that interest is trees. Saratoga Springs is the home of New York State's best kept secret, the Saratoga Tree Nursery. This facility administers one of the Department of Environmental Conservation's oldest running programs. The nursery program in New York has been successful in providing more than 1.6 billion seedlings for reforestation and conservation plantings since its inception in 1902. In the beginning there were as many as nine nurseries in operation throughout the state. Nursery operations in Saratoga began in 1911 at the present Route 50 site. In 1928, a separate facility was developed on Route 9 to meet the increased demand for planting stock. All New York State Nursery Activities were consolidated at Saratoga in 1972. As a result of consolidation and hard work, the nursery program has become a highly efficient, mechanized operation that continues to produce low cost seedlings. The Saratoga Nursery is comprised of two hundred and fifty acres, ninetytwo of which are production beds. Present annual production of three million seedlings consists of thirty-two species, including twelve conifers, seven hardwood, and 13 wildlife/ conservation varieties. The seedlings are available at cost. Minimum purchase is one hundred seedlings, except for hardwoods which can be purchased in quantities of twenty-five and mixed packets which range between twentyfive and 109 plants.

All stock is grown from seed or cuttings. A majority of the seed, in its rough form (cone or fruit), is collected from two hundred and fifty acres of seed orchards and seed production areas maintained by the Nursery throughout New York State. In order to meet planting needs, some cone and fruit is purchased from private individuals. The seed is extracted from the cone and fruit in the Seed Processing Plant located at the Saratoga facility. Individuals interested in collecting fruit or cone should contact the nursery, at (518) 581-1439, for details on species desired, prices paid, and collecting dates. Every attempt is made to plant seed from New York sources only. Plantings from seed and/or seedling stock from out of state sources may prove to be unsuitable or less tolerant to New York's climatic conditions. At Saratoga, the seedlings are grown in beds that are watered, fertilized, mulched, root pruned, and kept free from weeds. Growing stock remains here for one to three years until it attains the necessary size required for successful outplanting.

Orders for seedlings can be placed from January 1 through mid-May by calling (518) 587-1120, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Trees and Shrubs brochure can be obtained by either calling this number or by contacting your Regional DEC office. It is recommended to order by phone since the operator will be able to answer questions or direct you to the proper office for information if you need help. Shipping arrangements are made when placing an order. All seedlings are shipped in bags as bare root stock. These bags must be kept cool and out of direct sunlight to avoid loss from heat. You may pick up your order up at the Saratoga Nursery or have it shipped by either designated truckers to a single location in each county or UPS. Shipping occurs from mid-April until mid-May. Now that Saratoga's best kept secret is out, share it with friends and family. Together we can plant towards a greener, brighter tomorrow .•. David J. Lee is a Forester with the New York State DEe Saratoga Tree Nursery.

Three year old white pine being irrigated at the Saratoga Tree Nursery.

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • Marchi April 2000


Native Insect Pests of Hemlock DOUGLAS

oaming through the hills of Vermont as a youngster and, later, working in the "big woods" of northern Maine, I always treasured moments spent moving through a stand of eastern hemlock. For reasons difficult to explain, entering a patch of hemlock always made me feel as if I were truly in the north country and had stepped back in time a hundred years or so. Something to do, I think, with the quiet, cool, dark, and primeval atmosphere one senses when moving from relatively open hardwoods into the confines of a hemlock stand. I think many foresters and forest owners enjoy an aesthetic connection with hemlock. Certainly, a variety of birds, small mammals and the whitetailed deer take advantage of this species for food or protection from inclement weather afforded by its dense, interconnecting crowns.




In addition to the noncommodity and ecological values we appreciate today, hemlock has substantial economic importance to certain areas of the paper industry. Current interest in this species has been stimulated by an apparent absence of adequate regeneration at many locations throughout its distribution and the concern for outbreaks of hemlock woolly adelgid (see Forest Owner MaylJune 1993). The latter, an introduced species, is now found in eleven northeastern states, and tree mortality has been reported from Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut and southeastern New York. In addition to the hemlock adelgid, however, a variety of native defoliators and inner-bark feeding insects are linked with this conifer, some of which can do significant damage.

Figure 3 Needles damaged by hemlock needleminer (arrow).

The most important defoliator is the eastern subspecies of hemlock looper. It occurs from eastern Canada as far west as the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. Unlike most foliage feeding insects, it can feed on a range of both broad-leaved and needle-bearing hosts. Infestations, however, are confined to mature continued on next page

Figure 1 Adult hemlock looper.


Figure 2 Mature hemlock looper caterpillar.

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • MarchiApril 2000

Figure 4 Hemlock borer.

stands of balsam fir and eastern hemlock. Outbreaks typically last for only two to three years, but extensive tree mortality often results. The long-lived moths have tan to grayish-brown wings. When extended, the front wings span 1.0 to 1.25" and each is crossed transversely by two irregular tawny to purplish lines with a distinct dot of the same color between them near the leading edge of each wing (Fig. 1). Adults emerge in late summer or early fall and represent one of several species referred to as "hunter's moths," because they are frequently active well into November or until the first hard frost occurs. The full grown caterpillar is approximately 1.25" long, and its basic appearance varies from greenish yellow to brown. The back or top of most specimens is a mottled light brown to gray and the caterpillar's sides have wavy lines of varying shades of reddish to dark brown. The head and back are distinctly marked with pairs of irregular brown to black spots (Fig. 2).

Hemlock looper feeding is wasteful, because rarely is a whole needle consumed. This partially damaged, discolored foliage remains attached to branches and eventually results in a general browning of heavily infested trees. Hemlock needle miner is another very frequent inhabitant of eastern hemlock. Unlike the hemlock looper, though, its feeding mainly detracts from the aesthetic quality of hemlock used for hedges or ornamentals and is very unlikely to significantly reduce growth or cause tree mortality. Typical needle miner damage is characterized by six or more mined (translucent, light brown) needles tied loosely with silk (Fig. 3). The most dangerous pest of eastern hemlock is the hemlock borer. This beetle belongs to a family called flat-headed borers or metallic beetles - common names that reflect characteristics of the larval and adult stages, respectively. The larval or immature stages of hemlock borer are inner bark feeders; that is, they feed and excavate galleries just beneath the bark of the host, but do not construct tunnels in the wood. From a forest protection standpoint, most flat-headed borers are considered "secondary" insects, because they can only successfully attack a host that is stressed. Their normal ecological role is one of assisting with the decomposition of dead, dying or severely stressed woody plants. The adult hemlock borer is 0.3 to 0.4" long with a hard, boat-shaped body and three yellowish to orange spots on each wing cover (Fig. 4). Beetles have a metallic sheen and move very quickly when disturbed. The larva (lar-vah) is typical of the family; distinctly segmented, whitish to off-white and legless with a distinctly flattened almost triangular "head" (Fig. 5). Larvae (lar-vee) hatch from eggs laid in bark crevices of weakened or windthrown trees and burrow beneath the bark. Their winding, frass- filled galleries (Fig. 5)

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April2000

destroy tissue that is essential for tree survival. When populations are high enough, these galleries coalesce and eventually girdle the tree. Frass is a mixture of waste material and undigested wood particles. As mentioned above, hemlock borer requires a stressed or weakened host. The two major causes of stress for hemlock are defoliation and drought. Susceptibility to drought results from the fact that this conifer is very shallow rooted and typically does best on moist to wet sites. The species is so sensitive to changes in soil moisture conditions that merely opening up a stand of hemlock too much or removing associated hardwoods in mixed stands and leaving the hemlock is often enough to set the stage for hemlock borer .•.. This is the 49th in the series of articles contributed by Dr. Allen. Professor of Entomology at SUNY-ESF. Reprints of this and the complete series are available from NYFOA. It is also possible to download this collection from the DEC Web page at: [orprot/health/nyfo/index. html. Photographs I and 2 courtesy of the Canadian Forest Service.

Figure 5 Larval stage of hemlock borer, with gallery (arrow).



Timber Theft Hearings

Senate Committee on Agriculture and NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources HUGH



This article represents Hugh Canham's testimony at the Timber Theft Hearings in Albany, NY on February 8, 2000.


imber theft is nothing new in New York State. I can remember when I was a teenager and our family had just moved to our dairy farm in Otsego County, New York, and we were subject to timber theft. We were somewhat unfamiliar with our boundaries, busy in other farm activities, and not "savvy" to the ways of some unscrupulous persons posing as legitimate loggers. As a forester working for the New York State Department of Conservation in the early 1960s I saw incidents of timber theft from state lands, and received complaints from private owners of both timber theft, and noncompliance with timber sale contracts with loggers. Through numerous contacts with landowners and ownership studies conducted by myself (Canham 1971, 1981) and the USDA Forest Service (1995) we know it has been an ongoing problem although no definitive quantitative data has been collected on the extent of the problem. In the 1950s, the market value of trees for wood products (stumpage values) per thousand board feet (MBF) (see first attached graph) averaged $40 for sugar maple, $30 for black cherry, $25 for red oak, and $15 for beech and red (soft) maple. In the 1970s there was a dramatic increase in all prices, especially oak due to changing consumer preferences for oak cabinets and furniture. Today stumpage prices average $600 for sugar maple, about $1000 for black cherry, and $560 for red oak. Red or soft maple and beech, once considered low value, have also

increased substantially in value. However, when these nominal market prices are converted to real, or deflated, prices to account for inflation, using the Consumer Price Index, (as in the second attached graph), we see that in real dollars, timber prices have been relatively constant. Timber has always been a valuable commodity in New York State. Planned, carefully conducted timber harvesting adds significantly to the State's economic well-being. Timber harvesting is also the tool for improvement of wildlife habitat, enhancement of many forest recreation opportunities, and watershed amelioration provided by the state's forests. Forests cover 18.5 million acres in New York State; almost 2/3 of the total land area of the state (USDA Forest Service 1995). This is the most extensive kind of land cover in the state. It is owned primarily in small, nonindustrial

properties with almost 1/2 million owners controlling the flow of timber onto the market. However, unplanned tree cutting, as in timber theft, usually accompanied with careless removal of selected trees, destroys the sustainability of this resource. It leads to degradation of the resource and depletes the myriad nontimber values provided by careful forest management. New York's wood-based industries are a billion-dollar business. They currently ship annually $10 billion of products and provide employment for 66,000 people, many in the rural areas of New York State where few alternative employment opportunities exist (Canham and King 1998). Timber theft, whether from failure to pay for removed trees, or outright trespass and illegal cutting, severely hampers the ability of this important industry to conduct legitimate business. A bad continued on next page

Stumpage Prices for Western New York for Selected Species, 1953-1999 (based on NYSDEC stumpage price reports) 1600.-----------~------------~~~--~--------,

1400 1200 LL.


:2 1000

- -.-




I/)800 " .'

II:: <I:

:::j o



600 I



. :.-.0. .•...

-BEECH - - - - - SFT MAPLE


400 I





The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • March/April 2000

image is portrayed for the industry. Future sustained supplies of timber are reduced. Landowners are discouraged from any forest management and timber harvesting. The net result is further reduction in the economic viability of already depressed rural areas. The property tax base of many rural towns contains significant amounts of forestland. A healthy, productive forest resource is worth more and contributes more tax revenue. In contrast, timber theft will degrade the resource, reduce the tax base, and shift the tax burden to residential, industrial, and commercial property owners. As is true in any situation, the various parties, or stakeholders, each have responsibilities to minimize timber theft and its disastrous effects. Landowners should know their property boundaries. They should visit their property and be aware of what is happening on adjoining properties. They should use only known, reputable loggers, and seek the services of a reputable professional forester. Timber harvesters (loggers) have tried to sanction disreputable operators and this should be encouraged. Loggers

should strive to educate their workers and realize that their work is coming under close scrutiny by potential regulators. Regulation of private timber harvesters is not in the best interest of a free market economy. Mill operators should insist on knowing the origin of the logs and other material they purchase. They can actively promote the industry sponsored Certified Logger Program and Sustainable Forestry Initiative. These programs are becoming known in New York State and hopefully will continue. As an interesting sidelight, Plum Creek Timber Co., owner of 900,000 acres of land in Maine, will now insist that all loggers supplying its mills be trained and accredited in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Law enforcement agencies have the responsibility of understanding timber harvesting and forest characteristics. They must respond quickly to timber theft, just as they should in any crime. They should also understand how easily illegal logs can be "fenced." The judicial system has similar responsibilities and in addition should treat timber theft as a serious crime and should enforce penalties. As another interesting item, in Canada there was a recent

Real Stumpage Prices in 1967 Dollars for Western New York (deflated by Consumer Price Index)

case where a "Tree Poacher" was successfully prosecuted based on DNA evidence from wood in his possession compared to DNA in the stump and other parts of a cut tree. This science is still in its infancy but indicates what might be possible in the near future. Landowner organizations such as the New York Forest Owners Association, and forest industry organizations such as the Empire State Forest Products Association each have major responsibilities to educate landowners, loggers, and mill owners, and the general public. This education should focus on the important role that forests play in the everyday lives of New Yorkers, how to execute a successful continued on page 20

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Timber Theft Hearings (Con't from page 19) timber sale, responsible business practices, and boundary identification and maintenance. The educational system in the State has a responsibility to educate both landowners and law enforcement officials as to the details of tree identification, measurement of timber volume, and appraisal of forest values. Happily, the subject of timber theft is receiving more attention by state and local officials. The new laws help but more needs to be done. The following items are all proposed for further study possibly leading to further legislation or programs. I stand ready to assist the Commission and the Committee in analyzing each of these and the other suggestions put forth by the other very qualified speakers at today's hearing and subsequent hearings.

Better equip law enforcement and judicial system personnel to handle timber theft cases. 1. Modify the need to establish "intent" to steal timber. Intent is not a prerequisite in many instances and should not be for timber. 2. Provide education and training of officials. This could easily be shortcourse sessions provided by professional foresters and educators. 3. Add search and seizure to arrest. Obtaining financial restitution for timber theft is often difficult due to the lack of assets in the perpetrator's name.

Require a notification of surrounding landowners of any intent to harvest timber. 1. This could easily be a form that both the landowner and the timber harvester must sign listing the names and addresses of adjoining landowners and a statement that each had been notified in writing that a timber harvest would be taking place. 2. Forms would be required to be filed with the local office of the Division of Lands and Forests of the


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This is not a "permit" to harvest but merely certification of notification of adjoining owners. 3. In the long run, such notification could stimulate additional timber harvests for the logger (a bonus) and gets landowners (or their agents) to know where boundaries are located and who are their neighbors (also a good idea).

private groups that strive to educate landowners. 4. Private not-for-profit organizations, especially the New York Forest Owners Association, currently with about 2500 members could be a tremendous force. However, with about 300,000 viable forest owners in New York State, this group has barely made any impression. Further encouragement and cooperation with others is needed.

Establish proof of origin of logs delivered to a processing point (log concentration yard, sawmill, pulp mill, etc.)

Have property boundaries clearly identified and marked. 1. This activity does not always

The logger would be required to furnish the log purchaser a statement of where the wood was harvested, the owner's name, and location of the forest.

Encourage and strengthen programs for educating forest landowners. 1. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, through its Cooperative Forest Management program and the associated federal cost-sharing programs does much of this. However, more foresters are needed in the Department to fully carry out these programs. This is an appropriate role for the public foresters, while still leaving the actual management of timber sales to private consultants. 2. The Cornell Cooperative Extension program has an explicit mandate to educate landowners and their Extension Forester does a very good job. The ability of that program to reach owners is however, limited by the extent of funding and number of personnel. 3. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry also has an outreach/public service mandate from the State. However, it too needs encouragement and provisions for cooperation with other public and

require the services of a licensed surveyor but there are definitely cases where one must be used. In other cases it merely requires painting, fencing, posting, or other identification of existing property lines before time erases all evidence. 2. Boundary identification is good management, regardless of the type of forest management. Any responsible logger should require identification by the owner. It is often a requirement for participation in publicly assisted forest management activities. In summary, I applaud the Rural Resources Commission for holding these hearings. Our state legislators are to be commended for taking time to listen and become concerned about this issue. Good forests make for good communities, and good communities make for a healthy "Empire State." Thank you very much."

References Canham, H.O. 1971. Forest ownership and timber supply. SUNY Coll. of Env. Sci. & Forestry. Syracuse, NY Canham, H.O. 1981. Forest ownership and biomass availability. Report continued on page 21

The New York Forest Owner 38:2 â&#x20AC;˘ March/April 2000

prepared for the New York State Energy Office. Albany, NY. Canham, H.O. and K.S. King. 1998. Just the facts: an overview of New York's wood-based economy and forest resource. New York Center for Forestry Research and Development. SUNY ColI. of Env. Sci. & Forestry. Syracuse, NY USDA Forest Service. 1995. Forest statistics for New York: 1980 and 1993. USDA For. Servo NE Forest Experiment Station. Resource Bulletin NE-132. Radnor, PA. Hugh Canham Ph.D. is a professor of Forest Economics at SUNY ESF and a board member ofNYFOA.

Prayer When I awoke it was there Released from on high. settled smooth and white. And while I had slept the long night It had traveled through the silence of somewhere. With sudden pride my humble house of yesterday Faced the light. wrapped in an ermine cloak. While beneath an unbroken sea of snow. as though afloat The street of yesterday lost its identity and its way. In this span of hours. ills of earth seem ouickly gone As though vanquished with the darkness of the night. Covered with this vast blanket of white. Now would that man could erase all that is evil By creating a new world of right. a blanket Of good will in the passage of one god~ night! - Dorothy Darling Odessa. NY

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NE\vS White Spruce Seedlings .A. On Saturday, May 6, 2000 from a. dawn to dark, white spruce seedlings will be distributed to all comers free of charge, in any number and size, from Henry Kernan's forest property. The address is 104 County Highway 40, South Worcester, NY 12197. It will not be necessary to dig the seedlings because they germinate in May and need only be lifted by means of a garden fork, which will be available. This year will be the 11th year such distributions have taken place, with more than 30,000 having been taken away.

For more information please contact Henry Kernan at (607) 397-8805. Ask the Forester .A We have received one inquiry to a. our "Ask the Forester" column (see page 14) but are still anxious for more. We still have an array of Foresters who would be willing to answer questions NYFOA members may have pertaining to forestry and forest management issues. Please submit any questions or suggestions to: The New York Forest Owner "Ask the Forester" Column 134 Lincklaen Street Cazenovia, NY 13035 e-mail:




Materials submitted for the May IJ une issue should be sent to Mary Beth Malmsheimer, Editor, The New York Forest Owner, 134 Lincldaen Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035 or via e-mail at Articles, artwork and photos are invited and if requested, are returned after use.



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The New York Forest Owner 38:2 • MarchiApril 2000




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The New York Forest Owner - Volume 38 Number 2  

March/April 2000 issue of the New York Forest Owner. Published by the New York Forest Owners Association; P.O. Box 541; Lima, NY 14485; (800...