Where should we have drawn the line?

Karl Davies karl at daviesand.com
Fri Jun 16 20:31:25 EST 2000

"D. Staples" wrote [in alt.forestry and bionet.agroforestry]:

> Piney Woods Journal, June 2000
> Forester asks, Where should we have drawn the line?
> Where Should We Have Drawn The Line?
> By:  Harry Wiant, Past President, Society of American
> Foresters

Perhaps more appropriately known as the Society of American Deforesters

> It was my pleasure to be one of the speakers on a panel at the recent
> Winter Meeting of the Allegheny SAF in Titusville, PA.  Kathe Frank
> (USFS) spoke first, giving a wonderful talk on "Dealing with
> Preservationists”

What she really meant was "Dealing with THE ENEMY, THE SATANIC FORCES OF

> and Kenny Kane (Forest Consultant) following me with a
> challenging message, "Can We Pull it Off"

Pull what off?  The continued clearcutting and high-grading of America's

> The topic I was "assigned" was
> "Where Do We Draw the Line?", which I quickly changed (see above)
> probably to the surprise of no one.
> If  you'll excuse a bit of W.W.II terminology, we were driven off the
> forestry beachhead long ago when we gave up defending clearcutting, one
> of our most valuable tools.

Given all the paramilitary aspects of the USFS and industrial forestry in
general, the analogy is quite appropriate.  Here come the SAD foresters with
their tanks and mortars, all ready to blast the forest to smithereens (wood

> Numerous studies by USFS, university, and
> private investigators demonstrated the appropriateness of clearcutting,
> even in our Appalachian hardwoods.  Why have these publications
> ceased?   Has the ecology of our species and stands changed?  Of course
> not! The sad truth is that our research and science is hostage to
> political correctness.

Duh, Harry your brain is dead.  The publications ceased because people don't
like clearcuts, especially on their (USFS) land.  It's THEIR land, not YOUR
land.  Neither you, nor the USFS, nor the timber industry owns the national
forests.  The citizens of the United States own the national forests.  You
may disagree with me here, but the US is still a constitutional republic,
not a corporate fascist state...at least on paper anyway.

> Our retreat became a rout when our professional society and leaders
> accepted with silence the appointment of non-foresters as Chiefs of the
> USDA Forest Service.  Not reflecting on the individuals, who may be most
> honorable, it's a territorial testimony to our ineffectiveness (or
> political cowardliness) to fail to protest in the strongest terms when
> non-foresters heard our largest forestry organization.

Interesting little slip.  Herd is a good word for it.  With the possible
exception of the AFSEE, the USFS is a bunch of sheep munching away on the
fodder of taxpayers' dollars.

> We have stood by
> while the Forest Service, once the finest  in the federal bureaucracy,
> was destroyed and now marches arm-in-arm with the Sierra Club.

Destroyed?  There are still 30,000 of them munching away, at a cost of
something like 4300% of their returns to US taxpayers.  Meanwhile, state
forestry agencies do a BETTER job for something like 35% of returns.
Consultants do even better for even less.  The USFS is a disgrace.

> Our ragtag troops raised the white flag when we gave ecosystem
> management credence, even though we have no idea what it means or how to
> do it.  It is all too plain what is has done to management on our
> national forest.  Now some foresters pretend we really need third party
> certification, a few will probably accept the ludicrous notion of
> returning much of our forest land to some arbitrary pre settlement
> condition, and well known leaders in our profession try to convince us
> that so-called environmentalists are our friends.  It they are our
> friends, pray tell
> what would an enemy look like?

Gee Harry, I dunno.  Maybe like a bunch of rabid former SAD presidents
behind the controls of massive whole tree harvesters, thrashing and crashing
their way through the forest, foaming at the mouth and cursing

> There is little chance that forest industry will find the will and the
> way to produce the continuous and expensive TV ads I promoted strongly,
> a move so necessary for their own survival.  Surely they will at least
> take the advice a forester gave years ago and print Product of Our
> Renewable Forest on every roll of toilet paper,

Sheesh.  Was it you who came up with the toilet paper line?

> every piece of plywood,
> everywhere it can remind consumers that someone must produce.  That is
> an almost no-cost strategy which would slowly educate our propagandized
> public.

Right, get them back in line.  Forest Products Uber Alles!

> Many of our once proud army have accepted the rhetoric of the enemy,
> many have left the profession in hopeless surrender, but thankfully a
> few "real foresters" still stand their ground.

Foaming at the mouth, and raving against environmentalists.

> Can we regroup and move
> forward again?  The tattered flag of SAF flutters weakly in the breeze,
> and with a strong voice, it could still serve to rally our forces.
> Truth and science are powerful weapons.

Especially when twisted and perverted through massive corporate propaganda
campaigns.  Hey Harry, here's a tip.  Why don't you see if SAD can get
Burson-Marsteller to manage your propaganda campaign?  They did a great job
for the fascist military in Argentina, the genocidal Nigerian government,
Union Carbide's chemical disaster cover-up,  Monsanto's mutant foods
campaign, etc, etc.  You'd probably really like doing business with them

> As I said in my campaign
> statement years ago, we may not win, but we can  go down knowing we
> fought the good fight.  There are worse things than fighting and losing
> for a just cause.  And, we might just win, but to be brutally realistic,
> it will take a miracle.

Well, here we finally have some agreement.  Given the totally brain-dead
leadership of the SAD, you're probably right.  But that's not a bad thing.
That's a good thing.

Karl Davies, Practicing Forester
Politics of Forestry

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list