Nature Conservancy President's message
formgt_mkt at sprynet.com
Thu Dec 10 13:01:31 EST 1998
Not to burst your bubble, which I guess has already been burst, but I'm glad
you found out this reality.
Timber harvesting techniques just imitate nature, only we harvest the trees
rather than have them die of old age or have them blow over, and in some
cases once blown over, salvage them. The unfortunate part of harvesting is
the acceleration of erosion caused by the removal of forest products. But we
are getting a handle on this too and many loggers are trying to address this
problem in their operations.
ForestFair wrote in message
<19981209213156.01480.00000294 at ng-fq1.aol.com>...
>The following come from The Nature Conservancy's magazine. For more about
>the magazine, go to:
>The President's View
>Seeing the forest for the trees
>Many years ago, hiking through a remote section of the Adirondacks, I
>stumbled upon the forest primeval: a stand of trees seemingly as old as
>the Earth itself, utterly untouched by the woodsman's ax or the logger's
>chainsaw. Majestic white pines almost blotted out the sun. No scraggly
>second-growth trees or brambles competed for light or space.
>It was breathtaking in its beauty, yet heartbreaking in its evocation of
>times past. Most of eastern North America once looked like this. Sadly,
>all that is left of the original forest are scattered remnants.
>When I came to The Nature Conservancy more than eight years ago, I began
>speaking regularly about forest conservation issues and thought of this
>old-growth forest. Eager to experience its glow again, I retraced my
>steps to the same spot that had enchanted me before-and received instead
>an instructive lesson in ecology.
>A number the grand old white pines still stood as before. But many
>others were gone, rending great holes in the canopy and giving the
>forest a dramatically different feel. Seedlings, shoulder-high saplings
>and young trees abounded.
>Perplexed, I asked my companion what had happened. What I was witnessing
>was not the effects of timbering, but rather a dynamic forest in action.
>A freak wind storm a few years before had knocked down a bunch of the
>old trees, setting in motion the timeless pattern of forest
>regeneration. "You were focusing on the trees, not the forest," he said,
>laughing. "Some of these trees may have died, but the forest is
>I recall this lesson every time the Conservancy engages in another
>forestry initiative. On one hand, it illustrates the point that forests
>are ever-changing. People tend to think of forests as static, when in
>fact they are just the opposite. But even more important, it reinforces
>in my mind the need to look at the fate of entire forests-not that of
>individual trees-when designing conservation strategies for our
>Simply put, an organization such as the Conservancy cannot possibly hope
>to acquire and set aside forests on the scale necessary to conserve
>biodiversity for the long term. Rather, we must find ways to engage the
>owners of America's working forests-from private landowners of small
>woodlots to multinational timber giants-in productive partnerships that
>meet their needs for economic return while meeting the Conservancy's
>desire for intact, healthy ecosystems.
>To that end, over the past several years we have engaged in a number of
>ground-breaking partnerships centered around compatible forestry-with
>Georgia-Pacific in North Carolina, with the Vermont Land Trust in the
>Northeast Kingdom and, soon, with landowners in Virginia's Clinch Valley
>(see "A Clearing in the Forest," page 18).
>Some of our most impressive forestry work is taking place abroad. We
>have emerged as the world's leader in developing carbon sequestration
>projects, which rely on forest conservation as a mechanism for
>addressing the threat of climate change. Our proj-ects in Bolivia and
>Belize-and, we hope, other places as well-are at the cutting edge of
>conservation and represent tremendous opportunities not only for
>reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, but also for protecting
>forests (see "Re-leaf from the Heat," page 12).
>Some trees will fall as a result of our involvement in these projects. I
>and many of our members, I suspect, would prefer that things were
>otherwise. But ever since my walk in the Adirondacks a few years back,
>I'm looking out for the forest-not the trees-and so is The Nature
>President / CEO
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