Treating Forests as Economic Engines Isn't Management

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 20, 2011 | Go to article overview

Treating Forests as Economic Engines Isn't Management


Byline: Craig Patterson

Yes, Doug Robinson is correct: We do need another way to manage our forests.

Unfortunately, his perspective in his Jan. 2 guest viewpoint - which seems to represent industry, the Oregon Board of Forestry and some management agencies - doesn't seem to take into account some basic facts and contradictions. More of the same will only make things worse after a very short-lived boom, followed by another long-term bust.

There is nothing sustainable about industrial clear-cut forestry - not environmentally, not economically and not socially. It represents the ultimate short boom, then results in generations of busted environments, economics and society - the greatest good for fewest numbers for the shortest time.

Here are some facts:

Environmentally, the industrial model takes a highly interdependent and diverse ecosystem and converts it into a plantation of uniform structure and age class. The rationale is to speed up the growth in Douglas fir. Yet the litany of unintended consequences (invasive species, disease and insect infestations, soil erosion, overcrowded fire-prone stands, boom-and-bust cycles, etc.) all follow our industrial "management" practices. They sacrifice forest quality and structural integrity for fast growth without understanding the consequences.

There are many serious liabilities regarding man-made products, from out-gassing (which affects indoor air quality) to failing in less than 10 minutes in a house fire (oriented strandboard floor joists and rafters), which all point to the lessons we must learn regarding the industrial model.

Historically we have simply passed such externalities as forest restoration on to future generations with impunity. Now these costs are demanding our attention and accounting. Ignoring these costs and liabilities contributes significantly to our inability to pay for them.

This is a structural disconnect embedded in incomplete analysis and our singular focus on short-term profits. This disconnect drives us further away from holistic and life-cycle cost analysis - thus our problems magnify.

In a matter of days we can level a stand of ancient trees that took hundreds of years to evolve into the dynamic and interdependent ecosystems that an intact forest embodies.

Then our forest scientists ask, "How do we create structural diversity in a plantation?" without noticing that diversity was destroyed in converting a forest to a plantation in the first place.

If this represents science, then morality, social relevance, ethics and common sense have been thrown out the window.

Socially, the implications become even more insidious as unemployment soars in timber-dependent communities, our social contract is strained to its limits and future generations wonder what their future holds. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Treating Forests as Economic Engines Isn't Management
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.