On The Trail: A new approach to forest management
For nearly 40 years, in conversations with foresters focused on building wildlife populations like, for instance, deer, I have been told that we need young forest and fresh growth.
But now, with climate change and carbon reduction on the front burner, there’s a new school of thought focused on building old-growth forests for the benefit of the earth, its air and waters.
Synonymous with “in the eye of the beholder.” Do we want to manage our forests for economic profit and/or selected fish and wildlife populations important to license sales, or for the health of forests and, in the long run, planet Earth?
That is, can we build forests which simultaneously filter, absorb and store atmospheric carbon to slow earth’s accelerated warming, retain water resources and hold back potential flooding while maintaining adequate wildlife populations for hunting?
We’ve all read about how destruction of South and Central American rain forest removes the earth’s lungs, accelerating global warming and contributing to air and water pollution; however, a glaring misconception about this perilous issue is that such forest destruction is far away and not our doing.
So, both men are forest experts focused on forest and planet health.
Count them among a growing 21st-century fraternity of scientists advocating mature, old-growth forest as a remedy to global warming.
They’re giving us really positive feedback about forests managed for the benefit of the forest and our planet.” The North Maine Woods is a work in progress that’s making gains in the public-perception arena, and in the long run may bode well for a local old-growth forest like that of the Mohawk Trail.
Friends of the Peru State Forest say, “over our dead bodies.” So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.
Proponents of the DCR plan say aggressive logging will improve the ecosystem by thinning and clearing forest to stimulate wildlife-friendly regeneration, and in the process remove dangerous forest insect (red pine scale, emerald ash borer) and disease (beech bark disease) threats.