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Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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I would like to know what are the US rules for deforestation, is it a big issue up there.... I am from a traditional farm familly from Brazil. My farms are in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, midlle west of Brazil, We border Paraguay and Bolivia and we are into catlle Nelore and Angus, soya and corn. thank you, carolina

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Hi Carolina,

In the US how forests are managed depends on ownership. Especially in the Western US much of the forest is managed by the US Forest service as those are owned by the Federal Government. They regulate timber activity and harvest. States also have forest ground and there are state agencies which control forestry activity on those lands. Then there are privately held forests usually operated by timber companies such as Boise-Cascade or others. Some private forest is also operated by individual owners.

Timber harvesting is a controversial issue but not so much due to deforestation. It has been long recognized that if too much is cut there won't be a future in the industry. Timber clearing to plant crops or pasture has not occurred on any large scale since the 1800's. At that time much of the mid-west states like Illinois and Ohio had large hardwood forests which settlers hand cleared so they could farm. Those states are now our corn (maize) and soyabean production areas.

More of the issues are around several regulatory topics such as endangerd species, the clean water act and wildlife management. As an example in the 1990's under then President Clinton timber operations were very much reduced to protect the Spotted Owl, which is supposed to require mainly old growth (areas never harvested) trees as habitat. Those restrictions did negatively affect the industry in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

W. Gray, University of Idaho

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Hi Carolina,

In the US how forests are managed depends on ownership. Especially in the Western US much of the forest is managed by the US Forest service as those are owned by the Federal Government. They regulate timber activity and harvest. States also have forest ground and there are state agencies which control forestry activity on those lands. Then there are privately held forests usually operated by timber companies such as Boise-Cascade or others. Some private forest is also operated by individual owners.

Timber harvesting is a controversial issue but not so much due to deforestation. It has been long recognized that if too much is cut there won't be a future in the industry. Timber clearing to plant crops or pasture has not occurred on any large scale since the 1800's. At that time much of the mid-west states like Illinois and Ohio had large hardwood forests which settlers hand cleared so they could farm. Those states are now our corn (maize) and soyabean production areas.

More of the issues are around several regulatory topics such as endangerd species, the clean water act and wildlife management. As an example in the 1990's under then President Clinton timber operations were very much reduced to protect the Spotted Owl, which is supposed to require mainly old growth (areas never harvested) trees as habitat. Those restrictions did negatively affect the industry in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

W. Gray, University of Idaho

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Here in the Southeast US, we have the vast major of woodlands under private ownership. There area few conservancies , nationaland state parks, but not anywhere near as much acreage as that underprivste management and ownership. Our family owns four farms in Virginia and North Carolina,with about 60% of the land in woodlands, the rest open in improved grazing land or hay land. We can sell timber pretty much at will. It is another asset in our portfolio, something that families traditionally harvest for retirement, college expenses, etc. We are supposed to harvest in light of Best Management Pracitces, but ,y understanding is that these are strictly voluntary, not mandatory. These involve setbacks of timbering from riparian areas, and either leaving seed trees standing , or reseeding stands...as only two examples. Private ownership and stewardship mean that sustainability may be considered, but is not assured. One new aspect of timber harvesting here is the European 20/20 standards, which require electrical power generators there to reduce emissions significantly by 2020. This will place pressure on hardwood stands in our region...whereas pine has been the most economically important species for decades now, for framing lumber and pulp. There are some conservation program that place priorities on maintaining woodland cover. enrollment is voluntary, though.
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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Thank you very much for the explanation.  Deforestation is a dificult issue to deal in every respects. 

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Thank you very much for the information. I have around 60%  of my land in preservation areas as well. However the rules in my country for deforestation are changing. Thank you!

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Carolina,

 

I think you've gotten some good information from W. Gray at the University of Idaho. I agree with the others posting here that most farmers in the United States are not affected by regulations against deforestation. In fact, farms and ranches can apply for a government program that will pay them to plant trees or grass. It's called the Conservation Reserve Program. Currently, almost 30 million acres (12.15 million hectares) are enrolled in the program. To qualify, the land has to be subject to erosion and offer public benefits, such as habitat for wildlife and improvement of water quality. Here is a USDA press release about the latest signup. And here are examples of how landowners have used the program in my state of Iowa to plant trees. Most of the land in the U.S. that's in the CRP has been planted to grass, not trees, however. 

 

In our country, the ancestors of farmers who settled in the eastern half of our country didn't have to follow the rules that Brazil has set up. They were able to cut down much of the hardwood forest in states like Illinois.  In the states to the further west, we have almost destroyed an entire ecosystem--the tall grass prairie of North America. It's been replaced by much of the Corn Belt, which as you know, is one of most productive farming regions on Earth. The farmers and ranchers who settled the western half of the United States arrived at a time when our own conservation movement was growing. In those areas, the federal government still owns much of the land, including forests. It leases grazing land to cattle ranchers and sells timber to logging companies. Environmentalists in the U. S. are trying to end logging on federal lands and reduce grazing by ranchers. 

 

I know this doesn't help you in Brazil. It seems that relatively wealthy countries and regions--the United States, the European Union, have had the money to pay farmers to conserve resources, instead of mainly regulating them or taxing them. Our CRP program is getting smaller and I have a feeling that as this nation tries to deal with its government debt, the CRP will shrink and maybe even disappear. From what I read and hear about Brazil, your nation is growing economically,  Maybe it, too, will be able to reward landowners to conserve resources. You may want to write your own representatives in Brazil's National Congress. That probably won't help you right now, but maybe it will help the next generation of farmers there. 

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Thank you for the information.  Our new Forestry Code is being altered lately. It seems our new rules has nothing to do with the US rules.  We have another big issue that is the indian people that are requesting for fertile and productive lands for themselves and they still live like 500 years ago.  We have an amazing country but we still need to improve so much...... thank you for the information again.

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Re: Hello, My name is Carolina and I have few issues do develop......

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Native Americans in theUS have largely taken the legalstqncethattheyaresocerwign nations...that is, I'd they have land that they were granted in treaties, they use it as they see fit. That may mean a gambling casino locate in a very conservative, anti- gambling state like North Carolina, where the Cherokee have site a Harrah's Casino.
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