The Alaska Society of American Foresters, Juneau Chapter misses the mark
Tom Boutin, a forester and logging engineer with over 40 years of experience, recently wrote an that was published in Southeast newspapers. on behalf of The Juneau Chapter of the Alaska Society of American Foresters
Mr. Boutin admirably summarizes the hubris of the old-school forester: “We believe that every forest value and benefit can be achieved through active forest management.” Really? In 2012 there are self-proclaimed experts who think like this?
The public lands of our forests are not some engineering problem to be solved for maximum profit of a few investors. This argument for active management disregards the last 40 years of ecosystem science. Human intervention in the forest is detrimental to forest health, not beneficial. Active management of the forest has been an ecological disaster for the Tongass, and the Alaska Society of American Foresters has apparently learned nothing from this experience.
It is time we Alaskans catch up with the ecological sciences, stop regarding the forest as a profit center, and begin viewing the Forest as an ecosystem that supports our communities as a whole. It is time to cast aside “experts” who fail to keep up with current science.