Jerry Bloom: It’s now ‘payback time’ |

Jerry Bloom: It’s now ‘payback time’

Post 19th century man has greatly altered forest structure and resiliency. The high grading of forests removed the largest and best trees. The call for mine timbers and the post World War II housing boom (from) subsidized timber extraction continued the devastation.

All this was done with little understanding as to how forests function. We have learned much since those heady days, and now have a better understanding of the complex interactions of forest systems. Through large-scale timber extraction, herbicide use, genetic simplification and other past and present forest management practices we have reduced most of our forest lands to its current pathetic state. We are now in what can be called “payback time.”

We must now be willing to invest in the recovery of our forest ecosystems. It is unfortunate that there is no way to recover this investment from those companies that profited from the public subsidy that created the situation in which we now find ourselves. We must listen to today’s experts in designing forest recovery, expend funds on ecological research, and pay heed to the new understanding that will come from this research.

Jerry Bloom

Nevada City

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