This article legitimizes the point I have been concerned about with respect to the science of forestry. It involves far more than just the Forest Service and the impact of catastrophic wildfires. The majority of forest land managing public agencies, private companies and corporations are focused on the natural resources we harvest from the forests. They lack adequate information to prioritize treatment of the individual forest communities to maintain health and diversity. Our remaining forested lands demand a far more intensive management strategy, and that strategy must include the recognition of individual communities that make up the forests. I responded to the Examiner article with the following:
"The issue is far bigger than just managing wildfire hazards and involves most forest land managing agencies and corporations. Our inventory processes are completely inadequate to properly manage our remaining forested lands, no matter who is responsible. Back in 1964, I presented a paper at the Mid-West Wildlife Conference, demonstrating a process to identify the individual forest communities, and to collect data required to prioritize treatment needs. We sampled each community to record current conditions and needs. The idea was to revisit each community on a 10 years cycle, to refine and expand our knowledge of on-the-ground conditions. The project involved inventorying all communities on a 200,000 acre Ranger District. We completed our first round in 2 years with 3 professional scientists. Yes, it can be done! With today's advanced technology, I am sure the process could be done in a much more efficient way however, there is no substitute for on-the-ground observation and examination by a professional scientist to provide sound data. Unfortunately, today's focus remains on what we can take from the forests and not the needs of the individual communities to maintain or improve health and diversity. Healthy and diverse forest communities is by far the best tool we have to prevent catastrophic event in the future. If the science of forestry fails to make significant changes in the management of our remaining valuable forest communities, we will face the same issues that resulted in the collapse and failure of numerous societies from the past. TIME IS ADVANCING QUICKLY, AND WE ARE DOING LITTLE IF ANYTHING!