FS Guild board of directors election

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Wed Apr 11 10:31:52 EST 2001

rcpa.ross at netheaven.com wrote:

> Hi Joe,
> I have followed your website and writings, and your most recent e-mail
> regarding the election of officers to the Forest Steward's Guild.  I am on
> the slate of candidates and want to offer you a chance to ask me anything
> you'd like.
> In brief, I am a woodlot forester, consulting work for about 30 years, all
> in Vermont.  I got quite frustrated and came to the conclusion that forestry
> lacked authority and longevity in our society.  It is a slightly
> left-leaning alternative to the exploitive logging that has reigned over the
> land for two centuries. It is bought into to save taxes or to take advantage
> of federal cost-sharing, not because it is a well-thought out way to enter
> into the forest to take things for people.   Forestry has not made the gains
> we might have expected, all these forestry schools, FIP, SIP, WIP, current
> use programs et al.  On the personal level I would see lands that I had
> managed beat to hell because they had good stocking, and landowners didn't
> know the difference between a logger and a forester.  I can bitch all day; I
> won't because I've read the same story on you pages.
> I hope to see you at the Guild meeting, but feel free to grill me on my
> positions and how I would like to serve the Guild.
> Ross Morgan

Thanks for your reply. When I first heard of the Guild, I asked Steve Harrington
to send me some literature and he sent me several old copies of Distant Thunder.
In one of the first, the first item I read was an article by you. I was VERY
impressed. After many years of reading tons of the same old lies and propaganda
put out by the the forestry establishment- none of which seemed to be part of
the same reality that I lived in- that was the first time I read something that
I could relate to. I continued to read the Distant Thunder articles and
instantly sent out a check for a membership. Despite my love of surreal art and
other fringe elements of the modern and ancient world, when it comes to my work-
I am very grounded- as we independents have to be because we have no choice or
we don't have food on the table.

Without turning this note into the usual blast at authority figures- and without
grilling you as you suggested, I would like to leave you with my own BASIC
PRINCIPALS OF REAL FORESTRY, in a nutshell. I will be interested if you and any
others in this list agree or disagree with them- which may help to draw out some
thoughts from the woodsy folks who too often feel inhibited in expressing their

The Forestmeister's Basic Principals for Real Forestry
1. property rights are a good thing but should never be used as a defense for
bad abuse
2. while showing full respect for ecological principals, forestry can and should
show economic common sense, showing a profit for the ownership, including the
public- and this is the true way in which we can show genuine respect to
property rights- and to do so we need to have a better understanding of the
growth of tree value (for more on this stay tuned to what Karl Davies will have
to say on the subject)
3. forestry is held down by a welfare mentality- too many forestry entities have
become dependent on the taxpayers and subsidies- gimmicks of all sorts, allowing
the attitude that there is no need for high levels of productivity and the idea
that we couldn't survive without those welfare checks- the sooner we back away
from the support of the taxpayers and subsidies, the better- high levels of
economic productivity must go hand in hand with ecological consciousness
4. forestry will never be a real profession until we stand on our own 2 feet and
break free from endless oversight of bureaucracies and organizations offering
various kinds of review such as state approval of our work and FSC and SFI-
these, along with the subsidies are crutches that keep us down- no other
profession has so many people watching them- there are too many chiefs and not
enough Indians
5. forestry education must be greatly improved, with a foundation set by first
earning a BS degree in a real science with enough liberal arts courses to give
the student the ability to resist propaganda, toped off by forestry
"professional school" much the same as law, medicine, architecture and others,
followed by several years of apprenticeship
6. foresters must have licensing in all states similar to that for other true
professions- I say "true professions" because none others are like forestry as
it currently is- since so many foresters work in government and those in the
private sector, especially consultants don't (most of them) earn professional
level income- without professional level income the temptation for naughtiness
arises- with higher income and real licensing, foresters will be resistant to
bad practices in fear of losing their licenses from licensing boards which
consist of their peers who won't want the practice demeaned- it will be self
interest that will be working to uphold high standards
7. no logging should occur without a licensed forester taking full
responsibility for the ecological consequences and the fiduciary interests of
the forest owner- but, nobody else need review this work unless there are
complaints from the ownership or responsible ecological organizations

I'd suggest that the above set of principals is a plan for what must be
accomplished to raise forestry to a real profession, which by and large, it is
not at this time. If I didn't have a horror of public speaking, I'd run for
leadership positions, but that being the case, I will be looking for leadership
who offer a similar vision.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <redoak at forestmeister.com>
> To: FSG northeast <guildne at topica.com>
> Sent: Friday, April 06, 2001 12:15 PM
> Subject: FS Guild board of directors election
> > To Forest Steward Guild members of the Guild's NE list:
> >
> > I recently got in the mail the ballot for the 2001 FS Guild
> > Board of Directors with the campaign statements of the 8 people
> > running for 3 positions.
> >
> > I think it would be nice if we could all know more about these
> > folks and not base such an important election on a few
> > paragraphs.
> >
> > Being an internet fanatic, the first thing that came to mind
> > (what's left of it <G>)- is that it would be nice to have a
> > dialogue with the 8 candidates online. Perhaps there could be a
> > debate or at least an ongoing discussion of key issues.
> >
> > I dunno- but the net is an extremely powerful tool for
> > communication and I feel society doesn't seem to know how to
> > make use of it- especially for political purposes, such as
> > interrogating.... er... uh... I mean asking questions of folks
> > running for offices.
> >
> > It's just that I don't think it's possible to make this
> > important decision after reading a paragraph or two by a
> > candidate. I want to know what they really think and a few
> > paragraphs ain't gonna do it. I want to get past the sweet
> > sounding campaign statements down to the nitty gritty of what
> > they think the real problems and real solutions are.
> >
> > Perhaps this message could be the beginning of a debate or
> > discussion on this election.... or perhaps Steve Harrington or
> > another officer of the Guild could arrange an online debate.
> >
> > Of course, the NE Guild list may not have subscribers from other
> > parts of the country. As far as I know there isn't yet a nation
> > wide Guild list. Perhaps my suggestion is premature, and that it
> > might be possible to do this sort of online discussion to choose
> > leadership after a nationwide list is set up for future
> > elections.
> >
> > If any of the eight candidates are subscribing to the NE Guild
> > list, perhaps they could offer their comments on my suggestion-
> > which might make a good beginning of such a discussion.
> >
> > I have also sent this message to the Northeast Forest
> > Reformation list, also known as NEFR- an internet place where
> > folks have no hesitation to speak their minds. <G> To learn more
> > about NEFR, you can read about it at the topica.com web site.
> >
> > --
> > Joe Zorzin
> > http://forestmeister.com/
> >
> >

Joe Zorzin

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