Point of conversation was talk | TheUnion.com

Point of conversation was talk

After reading numerous letters to the editor regarding the recent seminar “Conversation About the Forest,” I have noticed that a great deal of conversation about the forest has been the result, which indeed was the point after all. I am a registered professional forester and I came away from the seminar with a lot of new information from the panel of expert and excellent speakers. They brought together years of study and experience working with forest ecosystems. It was truly stated that there are no clear answers and if we do not manage the forest, it would surely manage us. The pending conflagration will wipe our both homes and wildlife habitats, which we all seek to protect.

An earnest young environmentalist accused one of the panel members of having a pro-industry agenda. The professor responded, “The only agenda I have is my love for the forest.” Did the environmentalist have an agenda? Certainly he did. Hopefully it was the same agenda – love for the forest. It was sad that the letters to the editor from the environmentalist community, including the Sierra Club, only complained about the forestry conference. They missed the real point, which was that we all share a great deal of common ground. For the love of the forest we need to find real solutions that include people and the environment.

Last December the Sierra Club sponsored their own conversation about the forest. It was also advertised in The Union and open to the public. This seminar was about how curtail or delay timber harvest on private property. The Sierra Club informed me that I was not welcome at their meeting because I was a forester. I apparently knew too much. I e-mailed them back, “Even though I have been excluded from your seminar because of who I am, you are not excluded from the timber harvest review process.” They remain part of the conversation. There is always more than one way to look at something. Keep an open mind and keep the conversation going. The health of the forest and our lives depend on it.

Don MacKenzie

Nevada City

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