This conversation was mostly rhetoric |

This conversation was mostly rhetoric

I came away from the “Conversation About the Forest” wondering what happened to the conversation. What I experienced was mostly rhetoric – not an exchange of ideas on forest issues. I guess I should have been skeptical that this “Conversation” could live up to its billing when the list of speakers included so many professors who have spent their careers teaching their students how to harvest timber. It appears that even now when researchers are reporting the decline in forest health and the consequences for wildlife because of this decline that these same professors still can’t see the forest for the trees.

I believe that a follow-up “conversation” is called for. One that includes speakers such as a social scientist who might discuss the the reasons for and solutions to over consumption in America – which Professor Libby cited as a reason to promote increased timber harvesting. How about a political scientist or an economist to discuss how we can change Congress’ insistence that the USFS’ budget be weighted towards timber production. How about an expert on globalization. And a conservation ecologist. Then we might genuinely start to have a legitimate conversation about how we can harvest timber but still have a healthy forest ecosystem.

Carolyn Hinshaw


Sierra Nevada Group/

Sierra Club

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