The United States is losing
as the result of poor land policies. Even more importantly,
policy continues to be based on short sited, antiquated industrialization.
Why are American Public Lands not used for pine nuts?
Cattle, timber and mining industries are the primary commercial users or "stakeholders" as they are called - of American Public Lands. As such, we extract our resources in way they aren't renewable. We are losing our ability to sustain ourselves in this country. As biodiversity becomes threaten by "industrialized" use of land - the balance scale shifts. Biodivesity offers economic diversity, as well as for the fundamental support for life systems.
HOW DO ALL THOSE CATTLE CHANGE THE LAND?
In Nevada, for example, it takes
from 10 to 100 acres of P-J to produce 1 animal unit month (AUM) of grazing, depending on age and condition of the stand. The value of an AUM in 1985 was $1.37. Thus the grazing income rate is $1.37 to
13.7 cents per acre per year. Recent nut harvests have been averaging about 70 - 250
pounds per acre and in
one area, where a large chaining has reverted back to pinyon, about two
per acre have been harvested over the past 8 years and the area still
Using the best grazing allocations or 10 acre AUM as the benchmark
following revenues could be generated on an annual basis:
10/acres/AUM @ $1.37/AUM = $1.37
70 - 250 lbs per acre X 10 Acres
x.$0.20 = $140 - $500
1 tree/acre X 10 Acres X $2.50 = $25.00
Discounting the nut harvest by three to account for the cyclical nature of pinyon nut crops reduces the revenues potential for this product to $47.00 - $167/AUM. Thus on a 10 acre AUM, revenues for non grazing sources would far exceed those that could be generated from grazing alone. The greatest revenue potential however lies in some sort of multi-use management strategy. P-J A Commercial Resource?, Dwane D. Van Hooser and Osborne E. Casey, Pinyon-Juniper Conference, Reno, Nevada, January 13-16, 1986.
In Nevada, for example, it takes from 10 to 100 acres of P-J to produce 1 animal unit month (AUM) of grazing, depending on age and condition of the stand.
In 1999, The United States Imported 3,746,800 Pounds of Pine nuts From China
Units of (Quantity: Kilograms)
Customs Value, in Thousands of Dollars
Year 2000 - Dec.
Units of Quantity: Kilograms)
Year 2000- December
Customs Value, in Thousands of Dollars
Source: U.S. Trade Quick-Reference Tables: December 2000 Imports, www.ita.doc.gov
My work with the pine nuts began with a desire
to see wilderness "pay for itself", in order to protect it from destruction.
Since that time, I have learn much - The planet is a living system,
with thousands of subsystems, supporting its health.
Forests, are a major system., from microbes which create life in the soil up to the "heavy feeders" the trees. Forests play the role of cooling the earth, - shade, cleaning the air, and the water. Forests and a tree plantations are different. The soil can not be substained in a place which lacks biodiversity. I am trying to help land managers understand the substainable nature of the whole forests, through understanding the long term value of the non-timber forest species.
Managing Pinon-Juniper Ecosystems for Sustainablity
and Social Needs,
General Technical Report RM 236.
In terms of economics, New Mexico State University published an interesting study by John Fowler in 1987 on the economic value of products of the pinyon-juniper woodlands. In summary, Fowler found that the value of forage available in the woodlands amortized on a sustainable yield basis comes to $2.90 per acre at today's prices. In comparison, Fowler also calculated the value of the pinyon nuts available on the a sustained yield basis to be $300.00 annually at today's prices (based on 250 pounds of nuts per acre times $6.00 per pound (average price 1988-1992)= $1,500.00 per nuts per acre in a good year, divided by 5 (most areas produce a good crop every 5 years) equals an annual value of $300.00 per acre per year. Jeff Kiln, Environmental Education Consultant, New Mexico State Land Office, "My Vision of the Pinon/Socioeconomic Potential of Pinon Woodlands," Managing Pinon-Juniper Ecosystems for Sustainablity and Social Needs, General Technical Report RM 236.