The Forestry Source - May 2012 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
May 2012 • Vol. 17, No. 5
T H I S
I S S U E
Farm Bill Forestry Funding in Jeopardy
Martin Urges Congress to Support Conservation Programs
New Column: SAF leader lab Will forestry leaders adapt, migrate, or die? The answer depends on how we nurture our future leaders: “Great managers don’t just grow on trees: we have to invest in their development,” says leadership consultant and forester Tom Davidson in this quarterly column. Page 5. Indiana DNR brings forestry message to the small screen At the end of April, the public television program Indiana Expeditions will take its audience on a one-hour excursion into the world of forestry—and its tour guides will be employees of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division. Page 8.
D E PA RT M E N T S
2 4 6 8 13 16 17 Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Classifieds Continuing Ed. Calendar
By Steve Wilent merica’s family forest owners are facing a “perfect storm” of threats: wildfires, invasive species and other insects and diseases, development pressures, shrinking forest products markets, and ownership changes. So said Tom Martin, president of the American Forest Foundation (AFF), in testifying before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on March 22. (SAF testified at the hearing as well. For more on that, see page 9.) Martin urged the subcommittee to maintain funding levels for the Forest Stewardship Program and other conservation programs included in the Farm Bill, as well as for the US Forest Service’s research and Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) programs. “It is ... essential that we ensure these families have tools, technical information, and policy support to keep their forests as forests, for current and future generations,” said Martin. “The American Forest Foundation urges the subcommittee to maintain FY 2012 funding for programs that support good forest stewardship on our nation’s 251 million acres of family-owned forests and ensure the next generation is equipped to conserve and manage these forests—for the benefit of all Americans.” With the current Farm Bill expiring this year, Congress is due to write a new five-year bill. I spoke with Martin in March about AFF’s priorities for this legislation. Source: How are tree-farm owners faring in these interesting economic times? Martin: Markets are tough and that makes the costs of management hard to meet. Like all landowners, woodland owners are stuck with annual operating costs—taxes, insurance, doing the kind of forest management that you need if you’re going to have a healthy forest—and the economic returns just aren’t there for them. Like everybody else in the forest community, they need better markets.
Farm Bill conservation programs help provide clean air, clean water, productive wildlife habitat, and good-paying jobs, says Tom Martin, president, American Forest Foundation.
Does that make Farm Bill conservation programs more attractive to landowners than they’ve been in better economic times? (See “Martin” page 3)
Managing the National Forests: Challenges and Opportunities
Two Commentaries Offering Hard Looks at the Past, Present, and Future of the US Forest Service
The Future of the National Forests: Who Will Answer an Uncertain Trumpet?
Editor’s note: This essay by Jack Ward Thomas, who served as chief of the US Forest Service from 1993 to 1996, is an excerpt from a lengthy two-part essay that appeared in the Fall and Winter 2011 editions of Fair Chase, the magazine of the Boone and Crockett Club (www.boone-crockett.org), an organization founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and others. The club’s mission is “to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game, and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in North America.” The excerpt appears here with the permission of Chief Thomas. The editors of Fair Chase have provided the original essay for SAF members to download from the Source Extras page, www.safnet.org/members/archive/source _extras.cfm.
By Jack Ward Thomas t is late 2011, and the nation is engaged in two—maybe two-and-a-half—wars. With long-lingering high unemployment, jobs creation has emerged as the highest political priority amidst calls for dramatic reductions in federal spending and increases in taxes. The huge national debt has grown dramatically and is increasingly held by foreign entities. Cost for Medicare continues to grow. Social Security faces long-term insolvency. Crumbling infrastructure demands attention. Energy costs are at all-time highs and destined to increase. The environmental/economic/social consequences of nuclear power generation gone wrong are significant. There is an ongoing crisis in housing. Human populations—and their quest for the good life—continue their inexorable increase. (See “Thomas” page 4)
The Forest Service Can Learn from Others about Restoration and Transformation
By Les Joslin n October 12, 2004, then US Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth remarked to the agency’s National Leadership Team that he envisioned “a day when the Forest Service has truly returned to its roots.” Implicit in that remark, I suggested to Chief Bosworth by e-mail, was that he worked as I did for a Forest Service that was and should be, and that he believed as I did that the truly functional Forest Service of the future must be founded on the traditions and values of the past adapted for and applied to the future. That day, as many have observed on this page and others, has not yet come. Indeed, today’s Forest Service is even more dysfunctional than when Chief Bosworth shared his vision. Morale is low, good people count the days until they can retire,
others bail early. Those who remain—and the mission—suffer. The Forest Service must be restored and transformed to achieve that vision. Sound familiar? Our beleaguered Forest Service is not the only organization to have reached such an impasse. Others, when facing uncertain futures, have responded to save themselves and their missions, and have done so not only in their own interests but—more important—in the national interest. It’s way past time for the Forest Service to act decisively and purposefully to save itself and the National Forest System for the citizen-owners of the national forests and grasslands. I read as voraciously as time permits. I especially like stories of people who get things done. Recently, while reading Gen. Colin Powell’s 1995 autobiography, My American Journey, I learned of Lt. Gen. William E. DePuy, who in 1971 was assistant vice chief of staff of the US Army when then Lieutenant (See “Joslin” page 5)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - May 2012
The Forestry Source - May 2012
New Column: SAF Leader Lab
Indiana DNR Brings Forestry Message to the Small Screen
Science and Tech
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - May 2012