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Comments Received via the Comment Form

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The table below captures the comments collected as of April 29th via the Online Comment Form. Comments are grouped by major forces of change. Specific subregions of applicability are listed where provided.

Forces Subregion Comment
Institutional pied, coast The non-industrial private forest land owner will in the future be forced to liquidate part or all of his/her forest holdings due to high property taxes imposed by county governments who give lip service to the concept of green space but inreality want land subdivided and subdivided so they may increasse their tax revenues. Yes, there are some tax deferrments available for folks who want to "manage" their forest land for products, but for the small forest landowner who only wants to retain their forest for aesthetic/wildlife/recreation, their should be tax incentives to retain that forest land in an undeveloped, unsubdivided state.
Land Uses coast We have lost more timber than we knew to Katrina. Strangely, there is enormous growth of population post-Katrina. Our area is losing trees rapidly and growing houses instead. It may be that we will have to promote the concept of urban forests much more heavily, just as a carbon sink.
Land Uses pied, coast, ms, island The single greatest threat to our forests are suburban sprawl that is fracturing forests at an unprecedented rate. In addition, those forests adjacent to suburban and urban areas suffer from myriad issues such as invasive species, poaching of plants (such as ginseng) and groundwater withdrawls that lower water tables and affect vegetation across boundaries. The region should make a targeted effort to work with local governments to ensure that comprehensive plans consider and include protection of forested lands such that they are not zoned for development or if they are, development rights should be purchased or transferred. Global climate change also means that localities should create and enforce tree canopy goals. Forests also should not be left as biological islands hemmed in by subdivisions. In short, there are many planning issues beyond fire that should be looked at in the South. While fragmentation is a key issue that you mention, there is not a good linkage in general between state departments of forestry and local planning entities. Also, take a look at and make use of skills from the nonprofit sector such as the Green Infrastructure Center and the Conservation Fund
Land Uses   I find it disgusting the way loggers treat leftovers from harvests (or even just leave logs because there aren't enough for a "load"). In places that have pellet-making plants nearby (I realize fossil fuel-burning transportation is a problem), all of this material is used. We have a huge job on this planet if humans are going to avoid extinction, which right now seems the most likely case. We must learn to respect the harvest of trees, every part of the tree, as they do in Europe. Otherwise, our extinction is well-deserved.
Land Uses   This is the land trust lady on the Western Highland Rim again. According to your map and from what we are seeing around us, we are in the highest development category. Although we are in a rural area, subdivisions are springing up all around, forever changing the land use from forest or agriculture to residential. About 20,000 acres around us went from timber company ownership to private ownership, and has changed hands several times. Fragmentation is happening, which signals development. Once the electric lines come in, it's all over for the forests.
Land Uses   Last year I sold my timber to a logger company, and I lost money to capital grain taxes and bad logging practice. I went to $51,000.00 in trouble because I own the government for cutting my trees because if pine bettle in the tree. The logger push down two building that was and torn up the land so much that I won't be able to grow anything on the land this land this year.
Land Uses coast 1. In Florida we have several large area (10,000 acres+) planning programs to entitle rural lands with the idea of significant 50-80% conservation and agricultural set-a-side. These programs have been used on central and southern Fla ranchlands but not yet in northern Florida timberlands. The opportunity to creat a large vision plan on present timberlands with the end result being a sustainable "working forest" with a minimal dense new urban form is being planned tday. We are trying to create a model for present private or corporate timberlands where the large area planning outcomes produce conservation/restoration areas; preservation of timberland products and forest reliant communities; private wildlife preserves all as an entitlement outcome where the enhanced development reward to landowners is better economically than the historical result of timberland sales to pinhookers and loss of good planning results for good growth and the environment. These plans also offer local governments better future tax income than present large parcel breakup and sales to exempt homesteads, etc.
Physical Factors   I attended the forum in Nashville, but had to leave before contributing to the breakout sessions. I represent a land trust that owns forests on the Western Highland Rim of Tennessee, so my comments are specific to my region. I have lived in these forests for over 30 years. Climate change is negatively affecting these forests through extended periods of drought, which is causing the red oak decline to speed up. Many more trees in our forests are dead or dying since the drought. Forest composition is changing over time. Severe weather events, such as we had in spring 2007. Early warm spells are causing leaf out and flowering too early, subjecting all trees and plants to possible freezes such as we had in 2007. This was very stressful to the trees, which will not be able to rebound successfully as they had to last year.
Social   Urbanization takes forests out of production forever and parcelization fragments ownership and reduces productivity and ease of access. I think cooperative management zones is the way parcelization might best be handled in rural areas.
Timber Management   Recreation continues to drive the regional economy of the southern Appalachians. As population increases and wealthier populations move into the region, the demand for non-extractive forest uses will increase. As public comments on recent loggng projects in the region have overwhelmingly demonstrated, the general public is opposed to increased logging in the region and supports more recreational uses of the national forests. Recreation produces far more jobs and long-term growth than extractive uses of national forest lands. Growing concerns about water and air pollution also have tilted public opinion toward protection of national forestlands from logging, mining, and other extractive uses.
Timber Management   Again, this is the land trust lady on the Western Highland Rim of Tennessee. Hardwood forests in our area are being devastated since the timber companies sold all their land. Clearcutting is rampant, pine trees are being planted exclusively to replace hardwoods, and tracts are being subdivided. Land prices keep going up, and it does not matter if the trees have been removed completely. Ecosystem functions are degraded with all the loblollies, recreational values are also degraded as a pine plantation monoculture does not support hunting or wildlife viewing. It is sad to see...
Timber Management   Forest ecosystems are biological roller-coasters reflective of the socio and economic influences surrounding the subregion. Therefore, constant changes in management and forest land use is necessary to meet the long term demands placed on the natural resources of that subregion. It is imperative that research and development dollars continue to be spent to improve and increase the actual usable amount of product to fuel our consumptive habits and decrease our neglectful waste. Education and the ongoing committment to sound forest management principles is critical when considering these inevitable changes through time. Derrick Heckman Al.RF