Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> The environmental community has the mistaken idea that "protecting
> forests" means ONLY to lock them up; especially "VIRGIN" forests.
>> This desire is often seen by forest exploiters as some kind of throwback
> to Paganism, where the primitives worshiped the trees. The primitives
> didn't want "despoiled" forests to worship in.
>> However I think this desire for virginity in nature is also a throwback
> to a biblical quest for innocence. Our Judeo-Christian civilization
> tries, often in vain, to keep young adults innocent until the
> appropriate time. Once the inncense is lost, not much further
> consideration is given to the issue.
>> So, although we (environmentalists and natural resource professionals)
> ought to strive to maintain part of nature in it's primeval splendor, it
> is EQUALLY important to show concern for that land no longer in it's
> virginal state; which also needs "protection".
>> That is, there is NO scientific or legal argument as to why our society
> continues to allow forest high grading (the genetic damage of forests)
> to continue on a massive scale. It's as if our society is saying "the
> forest is no longer a virgin, so it's OK to rape it"- because high
> grading is the genetic raping of the forest. What sort of cattle farmer
> would breed it's next generation of cows or sheep using his poorest
> quality animals??? And that's what happens when we allow high grading to
> continue. It's economically destructive and extremely damaging to the
> vitality of the forest.
>> This continued allowing of high grading continues for three major
>> 1. our forest bureaucracies haven't the courage to fight to stop it,
> since they don't want to challenge the very powerful logging industry,
> and whose paychecks are not correlated with the true vitality of the
> 2. our politicians who BEAR FULL RESPONSIBILITY have neither the
> understanding of this issue nor the desire to rock any boats, since
> their primary goal is their self serving yuppie careers- so they pursue
> instead issues that get public attention, like punishing welfare
> recipients, the weakest members of our society
> 3. environmentalists are too focused on saving the virginity of nature
> than saving the vitality of nature once the virginity is gone
>> Proper management of forests is an issue FAR greater than saving what
> little virginity remains. The majority of timber harvesting on private
> land in some states, like Massachusetts, is HIGH GRADING- which is
> nothing less than the continued rape of Mother Nature; with the full
> approval of our state forestry agency. Environmentalists need to grab
> hold of this issue and work with those of us in the natural resource
> management community who want to end this destructive practice to find a
> solution. The solution is not a scientific one- because we already know
> the scientific answer- SILVICULTURE, an ancient science. The issue is
> political, because the politicians do NOT address this issue and the
> forestry agencies show little gumption to fight for it either. They
> prefer to lay low and collect their paychecks, rather than rock any
> boats. This issue won't be fully tackled until the environmental
> community becomes fully enlightened - that saving virginity for some of
> nature is not enough, you also have to protect it from further RAPE.
>> The "final solution" is that all timber harvesting should be under the
> direction of a Licensed Forester.
IF the landowner decides that is what's best.
The answer is NOT politics -- we all know how f***'d up the political system
is. I can imagine a far worse scenario if big brother was involved in
destroying, er, I mean managing ALL of OUR properties.
Focus on education, the benefits of using a forester for good silivicultural
practices and how it pays off over the long run. I still think that
landowners should have the right to manage their properties for insects and
disease if they so desire or if they are ignorant. As long as it is not
severely impacting neighboring lands (watershed impact, etc.) so be it. I
feel confident that by allowing landowners to continue managing their own
properties (some DO use foresters) at least SOME forests will thrive into
the many generations to follow. If Uncle Sam has complete control, I
definitely do not have the same warm fuzzies.
If anything political, perhaps a "truth in logging" statement similar to
"truth in lending" stating the possible detriments of allowing logging
without professional assistance.
Besides, in our political stage of today (U.S.A.) Rape is OK-- at least if
you are a liberal democrat, "feminist", or goon.
Now, with regard to public lands: Perhaps our best approach is by
referendum. Keep the slimeball politicians out their management as well.
Let the people decide how much of our forests should be used in what ways.
How much "old growth" do we need? Its not too late to manage for more. Who
says we can only think in terms of 4 years? This is incompatible with
silviculture! Offer up a few proposals, narrow it down to 2 or 3. Then
vote on it once and for all. How about starting with a timber survey of
public lands? Does such an animal exist?
In fact, lets just do away with the politicians altogether . . . <G> . . .
Dreaming on. Dreaming green.
> Joe Zorzin, Practicing Forester