OSU professor: Douglas Fir forests need clearcuts

OSU professor: Douglas Fir forests need clearcuts »Play Video

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- An Oregon State University professor says Douglas Fir forests can provide environmental and economic concerns.

Mike Newton, Professor Emeritus at O.S.U., says the catch is that they need to be managed.

Newton told members of the Douglas Timber Operators that many of the rules on the timberlands are counter-productive.

Newton says what it all boils down to, is whether the forests are being managed by constraints or by objectives. "One of the primary goals is you don't lose any species," he said. "As soon as you prohibit clearcutting, you have threatened Douglas Fir. You take away the tools that'll grow Douglas Fir and you've hamstrung the entire system."

Newton says timber stands on public lands that are not managed properly end up losing the Douglas Fir to unwanted brush or other types of trees that take over the area.

Newton says what it all boils down to, is whether lands are being managed by constraints or by objectives.

He says they're managing by process and not by outcome, and he feels Douglas Fir forests could be managed so they improve habitat, and at the same time provide much needed timber for the mills.

Newton adds that clearcutting has many benefits for wildlife, including providing food for many different species of animals.