Where should we have drawn the line?

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Sat Jun 17 08:47:39 EST 2000

In article <394AA45E.7C81B693 at livingston.net>,
  dstaples at livingston.net wrote:
> 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
Harry is in denial: the first of the 12 steps of dealing with change.
Unfortunately, there is no self-help group for old foresters who *think*
they know everything.

> 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” and Kenny Kane (Forest Consultant) following me with a
> challenging message, "Can We Pull it Off" 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.  Numerous studies by USFS, university, and
> private investigators demonstrated the appropriateness of clearcutting,
> even in our Appalachian hardwoods.
Sorry Harry (Charlie the tuna?). There is darn little reason for
clearcutting. There are substantial reasons for not clearcutting.
Growing trees comes to mind as the first of these reasons.

  Why have these publications
> ceased?   Has the ecology of our species and stands changed?

Perhaps not the ecology. Just the understanding thereof. When the USFS
and GAF tried to play hardball with scientists and ecologists, they
lost. Why? Because "foresters" like Harry really didn't understand how
to grow trees and the requirements needed to grow trees.
  Of course
> not! The sad truth is that our research and science is hostage to
> political
> correctness.
Denial again! See 12-step program above.
> 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
Nice. Reminds me of an ex-VP who had trouble with onamatapea.
 to our ineffectiveness (or
> political cowardliness) to fail to protest in the strongest terms when
> non-foresters heard our largest forestry organization.  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.
Maybe (just maybe) the FS read their own scientists reports. And then
figured out they didn't know how to grow trees.
> 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.
Sounds like Harry never did give ecosystem management credence. Another
reference to denial.
  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?
> 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, 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.
It wouldn't hurt if those products were actually coming from "managed"
forests as opposed to the countless "managed" plantations which now
supply most paper companies in the West. Since when did hybrid
cottonwood become a "forest" tree anyway? It's possible Harry's
ossification is showing. ;)
> 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.  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.
They sure are! How do you think ecosystem managmenet made it this far?
  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.
Sorry Harry. Sounds like you still need to learn about trees and how
they grow. I presume you've already learned how to cut and process them.
But the skills to destroy a think are not equivalent to creating them in
the first place. The forestry you advocated were not self-sustaining.

But let me leave you with one insight: clearcutting is still the only
way known to control Fomes annotosum (root-rot). Ironically,
clearcutting also contributes to that fungal disease, making it one of
the most common forest fungi in the PNW today. Now you have another
opinion why western forests are not as "healthy" as they once were.
(Quick! More denial!)

Daniel B. Wheeler

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list