[saf-news] Fires and logging

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Wed Sep 6 01:19:20 EST 2000

In article <39B565F4.B71E869E at forestmeister.com>,
  Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:
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> Steve Wilent wrote:
> > Sam's comment deserves repeating:
> >
> > "We should all be talking about multi-faceted scientific management methods
> > that balance the desire for "natural" ecosystems with the desire to protect
> > valuable property and avoid the high costs of suppressing major
> > conflagrations. Quit the rhetoric on both sides."
> Sure, but- what you don't seem to get- is the fact that the public and the environmental community
> don't trust the USFS and don't trust the forestry profession. So, all your platitudes about
> "scientific forestry" won't cut it. This profession has blown it so many ways- with so much
> propaganda and with so much bad work- that it will have to spend another generation winning back the
> respect that they lost. Your claim that there is "rhetoric on both sides" as if both sides are
> equally guilty is bull. I've spent quite a few hours over the weekend reading the position papers
> posted on the SAF web site and on the web site of the National Assoc. of State Foresters- most of
> those position papers are intellectually lame, all too predictable propaganda- the party line. Most
> of it reads as if it were written by people with very low IQ's. <G>

Too true, Joseph. I suspect it may take even longer than a generation.
God save the true foresters (ones who are actually interested in growing
trees instead of cutting them) from the political pundits and career
politicians who know little if anything about forestry than what their
political handlers tell them.

I'm not sure that I trust any of the three major candidates (Gore, Bush,
Nader) with any of my forest lands. Since I don't have a couple million
acres in trees, I doubt my opinion means much to any major party. But in
all honesty, I'm having a hard-enough time just managing what I've got in
a way I think is enlightened: and that means a lot of back-breaking work
in pruning, thinning, chipping, and planting. If I didn't have some
income from what is euphamistically called "Special Forest Products" I
wouldn't have much to report to the IRS.

Also, it is really difficult to explain that forest management that works
in one small area (like Clackamas County, Oregon) differs dramatically
from good management in another area (Douglas County, Oregon) or a
different drainage (Grant County, Oregon). Each management strategy has
good and bad points. But the worst of them is, in my opinion, that people
still think they are growing trees. If they aren't growing mycorrhizal
fungi, they're not growing anything. Any actual growth is taking place
_in spite of their management_, not because of it.

And where does that leave forestry? As a political football and
Congressional piggybank.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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