DEBATE OF '98- education of the forestry profession

JimiFromMI jimifrommi at
Thu Apr 30 01:48:27 EST 1998

Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:

> How good is forestry education? How can it be improved?

Maybe all ya'll foresters need to put on a better Public Relations campaign.  I
commented a while back about general perceptions being that Foresters CUT trees
(very, very bad) while the Soil Conservation Service people PLANT trees (so
very, very good).  It even has "Conservation" in the name!

Why doesn't my annual solicitation for seedlings come from (or even mention)
the forestry division instead of  from the SCS?

Is "forestry" too narrow minded of a word?  I'm curious.  In many disciplines
there are a plethora of specialties that one can focus on in their education. 
How many specialties are offered in pursuit of forestry education?  Are there
wildlife management specialties within forestry, or old growth specialties
(that sounds like an easy one, just sit around and leave 'em alone).  You get
the picture.

Just about everybody in this newsgroup is aware that the FOREST is a very
complex relationship of trees, moss, fungi, animals, geology, etc.  Maybe you
(and the agriculture guys, et al) should just be degreed ECOLOGISTS with a
specialty in <whatever>.  At least this word gives <warm feelings of green and
harmony with nature>.

SILVICULTURIST:  Another name that just doesn't do it.  People think of silver
mines and again, environmental damage.

Once in a blue moon I'll read a newspaper article that puts "foresters" in good
light or one written by "foresters" spelling out the advantages of actively
managing your woodlot (more likely, educating new land owners about the tax
benefits of establishing a basis for your trees, so that when we ***CUT***
them, we'll make out better with Uncle Sam).  Conservation issues seem to arise
from other avenues without the term forestry in their bio.

Am I on to something here?  Anybody have a better term than "forester"?  Should
forestry even be a degree on its own merits?  Should it only come after some
ECO degree as a master's program?

At a minimum, the general public needs more material about "forestry" success
stories -- the pretty picture at the "end" of a REGENERATION (now that's a good
word) compared to a highgrading or no management in a similar stand.

There is a lot of talk about wildlife species, understory vegetation such as
mushrooms, oxygen generation and the mere escape from the city in these
forestry newsgroups.  How much are these topics covered in the formal forestry
education process?


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