I believe, we can make a difference if we focus our attention on working together and redirecting our management goals for our remaining forested lands. Success will be achieved only when we accept that we are simply one small part of nature, and are willing to join hands with our native brothers and sisters to provide the wisdom and understanding of the vital relations we require from the natural world. It will not be easy and will require eliminating walls that have been erected between dominate society and our indigenous American citizens. We have scientific evidence that proves our indigenous people have occupied the North American continent for at least 30,000 years. Their understanding of nature and balance, developed through empirical observation, has provided “Traditional Knowledges” vital for efforts to restore mankind’s damage to the natural world.
I am frustrated as I watch a national effort by a few, to destroy our ability to work together. Division, hatred and racism seems to be increasing instead of improving. Legislating away women’s rights, questioning the rule of law, and attempting to legislatively limit voting rights; is not the Democratic principles our country was founded on. If we cannot re-build our ability to work together, the future of mankind will be limited.
We have received the privilege of occupying the only planet known to support the complexity of living species that exist on Earth. Human populations are rapidly approaching numbers that will exceed Earth’s carrying-capacity. Changes in our affluent life styles will be required to establish balance and prolong human life, as well as many other species. The important elements provided by tree covered lands in sustaining life on our planet, elevates the necessity of adjusting the management goals for the remaining public forestlands and encourage private forest land owners to do likewise.
I am discouraged because professional natural resource managers seem to hold on to traditional agricultural practice of harvesting what resources we can take from nature, rather than search for better methods of improving the conditions of our remaining life sustaining forest ecosystems. Corporate institutions are obviously driven by profit and loss statements and find it difficult to make the required adjustments. Our politicians spend their time trying to destroy their opponent’s reputation, raise large sums of money to cover the massive costs of their next election and are strongly influenced by lobbyists representing those who financed their last campaign. I am not sure where the needed leadership will come from, but a brighter future depends upon the voters. They must assert their power through exercising the right to vote and select knowledgeable people that are committed to representing the people, not the special interests.
I have watched people, like former Vice-President Al Gore, attempt to lead an effort to solve the issue of climate change, with little success. Several well-known entertainers have participated in efforts to call attention to various environmental issues and to support changes designed to help improve the natural world, yet little appears to change. Nationally, we are investing in programs to reduce the bad effects of burning fossil fuels, but the changes are slow and there are many more solutions to consider. The proper management of our remaining forests offers a significant opportunity! Adjusting other land use practices is another opportunity. What we do to nature we do to ourselves!
I don’t know what the future holds, but I know together we can make a difference if we focus on what the natural world requires to remain vibrant. We must begin by re-kindling our spiritual relationship with nature and the land. Resource managers have to focus on a deeper understanding of nature and how it relates to the sustenance of life. Academia needs to introduce and implement programs that alert students to ecological principles. These programs need to start at the elementary level and continue through high-school. Natural resource and science students, at the college level, should have a strong ecological foundation prior to specializing in the various resource departments.
As you read these articles, please think about how you might help alert others and lead in the development and implement efforts to regenerate nature for a brighter future. History has demonstrated that major change usually requires the insistence of the people, rather than top-down leadership. Good leadership follows the desires of the people. We need to educate and inform the citizens of the facts, so they can insist on realistic reforms that offer a brighter future. The Chief of the Forest Service, USDA, needs to start by initiating a cooperative agreement with several Tribes to form a working committee to develop a plan for how to manage our valuable forested lands to provide balance and sustainability of the life supporting elements these forests provide. Life cannot continue without forests and forests cannot continue to sustain life without the natural diversity of the original forest ecosystems, I call it NATURES WAY. Nature, truly knows best, but now requires help from mankind to recover from the greedy demands of the past.
Remember the Seventh Fire Prophecy of the Anishinaabe people: THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WATERS WILL BECOME SO POISONED THAT THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS WILL TAKE SICK AND BEGIN TO DIE, AND THE FORESTS AND THE PRAIRIES WILL LOSE THE AIR OF LIFE. WHEN THIS HAPPENS, THE NEW PEOPLE WILL ARRIVE AND RETRACE THE FOOTSTEPS OF THEIR ANCESTORS TO FIND THE TREASURES LEFT ALONG THE TRAIL. WE WILL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO PATHS. IF WE CHOOSE THE RIGHT PATH, THE PATH OF SPIRITUALISM AND BALANCE, THE EIGHTH AND FINAL FIRE WILL BE IGNITED AND WE WILL JOIN HANDS WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO PROLONG LIFE ON EARTH. IF WE CHOOSE THE WRONG PATH, THE PATH OF MATERIALISM, MUCH HARM AND EVEN DEATH WILL COME TO ALL THE PEOPLE ON EARTH!
The time to choose has arrived!