Magazine article American Forests


Magazine article American Forests


Article excerpt


Deborah Gangloff: I found the enclosed June 1927 issue of American Forests and Forest Life in an antique store in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. I don't know how complete your archives are, so I bought it for you.

Some remarkable changes and similarities over the last 78 years. Inside front cover: Look at the number of vice presidents AFA used to have [20] and at who they were-some very high-level folks and even the president of the Sierra Club was an AFA VP! Page 323: The feature articles focuses on the environmental perils of clearing Appalachian timberland for agricultural use. The parallel today: AMERICAN FORESTS is focused on the environmental effects of urban and suburban deforestation. Also, some still-familiar advertisers (L.L. Bean, Coleman, and James W. Sewall) and some long gone (Ipana toothpaste, fox breeders, ELTO Outboard Motor Co.).

I think frequently with fondness of the time when Hank DeBruin, Fred Deneke, Gary Moll, and I were the "charter" organizers of AMERICAN FORESTS' Urban Forestry Program and the first Urban Forestry Conference. Deborah, under your staff leadership AMERICAN FORESTS has continued to grow and flourish. . . you should be proud.

Richard Lewis, President

Forest Resources Association, Inc.

Rockville, Maryland


Editor: As a retired professional forester, I take umbrage with the editorial by Ms. Gangloff (Winter 2005). The values she speaks of were installed in forest management over a half a century ago and labeled "multiple uses" by the U.S. Forest Service.

Certainly forest products have to be produced and harvested. That is the only way a manager can justify forests and pay for management and the taxes. She states "Forest management has quite literally, failed to see the forest for the trees." What poppycock. I have spent over 50 years planting, growing, protecting, and caring for forest land and was carefully taught to take into consideration all of the values of forest land. This is called "proper use."

Managed forests:

* Produce more and cleaner water and air without erosion and clogged streams.

* Because of their vigor, reduce diseases, insects and produce more oxygen than old-growth trees. Old-growth trees are rotting faster than they are growing.

* Preserve and produce more wildlife habitat with openings, groundcover, and selected den trees.

* Create a better quality of life in urban and rural areas by producing worthwhile jobs and establishing a economy that can be taxed and used to increase the management of forest land.

Parks and Wilderness Areas provide forests that harbor insects that then spread to forests (see "Trouble in Pinon Country, Winter 2005, pg. 14) that are not classified as commercial and have no value to harvest. This also happens in rural communities where ignorant homeowners keep susceptible trees and infested trees until the tree is dead and want someone to do something. But the bugs have flown.

It is my experience that rural homeowners are the biggest threat to forestland. They create fire hazards and insect hazards by retaining "oldgrowth." Trees that are not vigorous enough to resist disease and insects. Trees that remain as damaged trees, burned at the base so that interior rot soon outgrows the tree. Damaged trees like these are also the result of "prescribed burns."

There is no scientific evidence that forest management by professional foresters has devalued the forests. Here in California the yield has been reduced by 65 percent, when once it was the second largest producer of forest products. …

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