The Consultant - 2006 - (Page 31)

Consultant’s Forum Maybe Money Does Grow on Trees … By Larry Wiseman President & CEO American Forest Foundation Larry Wiseman I magine yourself driving through the back roads of New England at the height of foliage season. Gentle autumn sunlight washes the reds, yellows, browns and greens of the forested hills. You stop at a creek-side restaurant, sit at the window, sip a beer and gaze out at the scenery. “Can it get any better than this?” you ask yourself. “You betcha,” mutters the restaurant owner under his breath, as he contemplates yet another fruitful and lucrative tourist season. Everybody’s happy. Well, almost. There’s another player in this scene, way offstage, but vital nonetheless: the owner who invested years, sweat and probably a considerable amount of money in nurturing the very forest you traveled hundreds of miles to view. He’s providing you an ecosystem service – beautiful scenery – and everybody in the neighborhood is earning money from it … everybody, that is, but him. There are two lessons buried in this little story. The first is that the definition of ecosystem services is nowhere near as complex as some economists make it. All foresters and most family forest owners understand that forests produce a lot of things other than wood: beautiful landscapes, clean water, all kinds of wildlife habitats, places for recreation, or just a bit of solitude. Producing these ecosystem services contributes greatly to the pride and pleasure family forest owners have always sought from being good stewards. The second lesson is that it’s hard to put a value on these services, and even harder to find a way to get paid for them. But it’s not impossible. Many forest owners have sold a special kind of ecosystem service for decades through leases and permits to hunt for the wildlife that lives in their woods. WHO BUYS ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND WHAT ARE THEY BUYING? The experts, and there aren’t many, tend to cluster ecosystem services into two broad categories: “cap and trade” and “fee for services.” The first type is primarily a pollution control strategy, and it requires a jump start from government. The latter tends to emerge when forest owners discover they have something to sell at about the same time other folks decide they need to buy it. Cap and Trade: The classic example of a cap and trade program is carbon. Even though the United States hasn’t yet

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2006

Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
America's Forests – Resilient and Productive
Forests of the Pacific Northwest: Sustainable Use and Resiliency
St. Helens Tree Farm 25 Years After Eruption
Forestry in Gloucester County, Virginia – Past, Present and Future
Ecosystem Services: Seller Beware
Maybe Money Does Grow on Trees …
Protecting Productive Private Property
Hug a Forester…And a Tree
A Practical Course in Forest Consulting
Clare Doig, ACF – A Resilient Forester
A Review of ACF Membership Guidelines
Legislative and Policy Activism: Withstanding the Forces of Man

The Consultant - 2006