High grading

High grading

The term high grading in forestry and fishing relates to selectively harvesting goods, to “"cut the best and leave the rest"”. In mining, it is a term for theft.


In forestry, high grading is a selective type of timber harvesting that removes the highest grade of timber ( i.e, the most merchantable stems ) in an area of forest. The stunted, slow growing or poorly formed trees that are left as residuals will, if ecological conditions permit, reseed the space that has been created. Over time the practise of high grading can therefore give rise to forest stands containing stems of less value in terms of timber quality.

The opposite of this practice is low grading, where the lower quality trees are periodically harvested, making the genetic stock faster growing and of better timber quality.


High grading is a practice of selectively harvesting fish so that only the best quality fish are brought ashore. The practice is popular in situations under individual fishing quotas where only a limited number of fish are allowed to be harvested. Following the letter, but not the spirit of the law, fish are caught, and if not considered optimal, thrown back into the ocean. The practice of high grading allows fishers to get high prices for their limited catch but is environmentally destructive because many of the fish returned to the water die.


In mining, high grading is the concealment and theft of valuable gold or silver ore by miners for personal profit. Common in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, high graders would usually conceal gold ore in a pocket or lunch pail, or internally within the body, and later attempt to fence it on the black market.

As mining companies became more aware of the growing problem, they built changing stations where they forced the miners to shower after their shift in the mines, making it easier to foil attempts at theft.

"“HIGH GRADING AT TONOPAH.” The arrest of four men for high grading took place at Tonopah last Friday morning as the men were coming off shift at the McNamara mine. The men arrested are William turner, vice president of the Tonopah miners' union; Tom Conifrey, Tom Cunningham and Patrick Flanigan. They were caught with the rich ore concealed upon their persons, and is it said that nearly a wagonload of ore was recovered from the residences of the high graders. These men have been suspected for a long time, and Friday morning the entire shift was held up and searched. All were lodged in the county jail, and two of them have since given bail. It is announced that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.-Rhyolite "Herald", October 28 1908"

In the mining town of Vulture City, Arizona, over the years 18 men were hanged from the local ironwood tree for high grading.Fact|date = August 2008

ee also


External links

* [http://www.explorehistoricalif.com/highgrading.html History of highgrading in California] (mining)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • high-grading — noun see high grade II …   Useful english dictionary

  • high-grading — noun Date: 1974 the practice of selecting only the most healthy or valuable individuals in harvesting a natural resource (as timber or fish) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • high grading — the discarding of a portion of a vessel s legal catch that could have been sold to have a higher or larger grade of fish that bring higher prices. It may occur in quota and non quota fisheries. Generally illegal as fish resources are wasted. Also …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • high-grade — high grader, n. /huy grayd /, adj., v., high graded, high grading. adj. 1. of excellent or superior quality. 2. (of ore) yielding a relatively large amount of the metal for which it is mined. v.t. 3. to steal (rich ore) from a mine. [1875 80] * * …   Universalium

  • Grading (tumors) — In pathology, grading is a measure of the cell appearance in tumors and other neoplasms. Some pathology grading systems apply only to malignant neoplasms (cancer); others apply also to benign neoplasms. The neoplastic grading is a measure of cell …   Wikipedia

  • Grading — Die Bezeichnung Grading (englisch to grade ‚einteilen, in eine Rangfolge ordnen‘) wird im Zusammenhang mit der Beurteilung eines Tumors benutzt, um den Differenzierungsgrad des Krebsgewebes anzugeben, d. h. das Ausmaß, in dem es von den …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Buckhorn High School (New Market, Alabama) — Buckhorn High School is located in New Market in northern Madison County, Alabama. A National Blue Ribbon School, it is known for its baseball, basketball, football, band and softball teams as well as a high grading average. It is located at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Academic grading in North America — The following is a summary of the academic grading systems in North America. Canada In the Canadian province of Ontario, another system is placed that replaces the A–F system. This system was instituted by the provincial government in around 2001 …   Wikipedia

  • Coin grading — In coin collecting coin grading is the process of determining the grade or condition of a coin, one of the key factors in determining its value as a collector s item. The grading of a coin includes the analysis of several criteria, the most… …   Wikipedia

  • Color grading — or colour painting, is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo chemically or digitally. The photo chemical process is also referred to as color timing and is… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”