Let's look a little deeper. 99% of all life on our planet are plants, and only 1% are animals, and that includes everything from insects to humans. Not only are there billions of species on this planet but, human beings account for only a minuet niche in the circle of life. Humans do however, create the greatest demand for earth's resources, and our human population will soon reach 10 Billion worldwide. A close examination of history provides indications of what our future holds for human life. The failure and collapse of past societies such as Easter Island, the Aztec and Mayan cultures, the Norse settlement in Greenland, were all the result of environmental issues with population expansion and deforestation being two of the major issues. Our continued insistence that forestry is an agricultural process focused on "growing trees as a crop" and the current goal of management to provide a sustainable flow of goods and services from the remaining forested lands, can only lead us toward the historic examples of the past.
Since the arrival of the European settlers on the North American Continent, forested lands have been seen as a storehouse of valuable resources or obstacles needing to be cleared for agricultural uses. Even with the establishment of the science of forestry in the late 1800's, the new science focused on what we can take from the forests. The scientific knowledge of our relationship with the natural world has been obvious for hundreds of years, yet forestry continues to manage the resources from the forest. Over half of our original forested lands are gone and we are deforesting the equivalent of 20 football fields every minute worldwide. The "Null-Alternative", do nothing, can not provide the desired future we seek!