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Summarized Comments and Author Responses: TERRA-3

Comment no. 29:

To the contrary, we note research by the U.S. Geological Survey's breeding bird data below that indicates increasing bird populations in the urbanizing Piedmont. … The generally positive trends for forest bird species during a period of significant urbanization in the southern Piedmont require significant futher expanation (pp. 13 and 14). -- Draft Report

Response by Kenneth Graham:

Chapter Terra-3 has been expanded to include a citation that discusses population trends for sensitive woodland bird species in the Southern Piedmont Physiographic Area. This citation does not support the commentors' underlying explanation, however, that urbanization is beneficial to woodland birds. To the contrary, the cited source attributes apparent stability of vulnerable bird species to overall increasing forest acreage and maturity in the region. Since the commentors cited no other supporting information to explain the population trends for sensitive woodland bird species in the Piedmont, I have included the only citation I could locate. Information provided in Chapter Terra-3 indicates that not all bird species including some "woodland breeding" species are adversely affected by urbanization and fragmentation. However, to imply that urbanization has been a positive factor for all woodland breeding birds including sensitive species of conservation concern (especially based on population trends from one urbanizing physiographic region), would be contrary to a substantial body of scientific literature (including citations already contained in Chapter Terra-3). The commentors included no citations which would explain population trends for "urban breeding" birds in the Piedmont and I was unaware of any that specifically addressed this issue. Trends for house sparrows and European starlings in the Piedmont may reflect regional and national trends of stabilization or toward decreasing populations as previously cited in Section 5.1.3.2. of Chapter Terra-3 (Robbins 2001). -- Final Report


Comment no. 9:

Table 2 is suppose to list exotic species associated with southern forests, but the table contains several species that occur in west Texas and south Florida that are not associated with southern forests. -- Draft Report

Response by Kenneth Graham:

Table 2 has been modified to remove species less likely to be found in forested habitats (or those found outside the coverage of the SFRA). Some of the South Florida species rightfully belong in the Table 2 however (such as the greenhouse frog which is present on 3 National Forests). -- Final Report


Comment no. 8:

A "key finding" states that indiscriminate use of exotic species for wildlife management purposes has led to serious problems. However, only very sketchy examples of problems created by use of exotics for wildlife management are provided to support the finding. -- Draft Report

Response by Kenneth Graham:

Information has been added into Chapter Terra-3 that describes past examples where exotic plants have been spread by well meaning attempts to benefit wildlife. -- Final Report


Comment no. 1:

Please address the average cutting age of plantations in 1980 vs.today. I was told that rotations would be on the order of 40 years in the deep south, and today they are at 15-18 years rotations in those areas. In 1980 I was told that 20 million acres would more than supply demand for paper in the US in perpetuity. -- Draft Report

Response by Kenneth Graham:

This comment is outside the scope of Chapter Terra-3 and I will defer to Chapter Terra-4 for discussion of this issue. -- Final Report

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created: 4-OCT-2002
modified: 08-Dec-2013