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Autumn issue: Bravo.

Gary Moll: The Autumn 2006 issue was right on target. The Mississippi River Corridor is committed to the advancement of a conservation/environmental philosophy that is dedicated to a comprehensive approach of protection, economic development, and cultural renewal for our region in the South.

Memphis is already a major transportation hub in the country and will only grow stronger when 1-69 is completed. We anticipate growth but hope to create a new "urban sprawl" and the mega-shops that come with progress; one that is environmentally friendly.

You, AMERICAN FORESTS, and Michael Gallis are to be congratulated for bringing this vital issue to the forefront. We need a new national network, for sure.

Diana Threadgill

Mississippi River Natural and Recreational Corridor

Memphis, Tennessee

American Forests: I finally got around to reading the Autumn issue. Terrific. Inspirational. Motivating. Progress.

John Berdes

ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific

Ilwaco, Washington

Deborah Gangloff: I am extremely pleased and excited about AMERICAN FORESTS' fresh mission perspective, and call for dialogue on a framework to rebuild and restore the environment across our ever-changing landscape. (Autumn 2006). This initiative is right on target and extremely timely.

We can see the interconnectedness of our urban ecosystems and the relationships between components of the ecosystem and other elements of infrastructure, and see how our communities connect to regional and global networks. We can decide what change is desirable and acceptable, act to mitigate the undesirable, and measure our results. Yet we produce the same results.

This combined with the emergence of sprawling mega-cities, increased nature-based catastrophic events, and 100 million more U.S. citizens in the next 35 years, is a strong call to abandon the traditional approaches of protection and regulation. AMERICAN FORESTS has just made that call.

In my opinion, this will help define 21st century conservation leadership at the federal level. In my capacity with the U.S. Forest Service and its Urban and Community Forest Assistance Program, I intend to contribute to this dialogue and support opportunities to demonstrate ways to better integrate human and natural systems. I encourage my contemporaries to take the big view, participate in this discussion, and help build a new national framework.

Edward A. Macie

Regional Urban Forester

U.S. Forest Service

Deborah Gangloff: Your Autumn 2006 issue was your most impressive issue in years for the substance and depth and innovation of its content about forests. The notion of a "new framework" for thinking about forests and forest policies is right on target.

For the past few years I've been a member of the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry and organized its Global Markets Forum that was held in early 2005. That multi-stakeholder forum concluded the factor exerting the most influence on forest biodiversity is rampant unplanned urbanization. "Keeping Forests as Forests" is rapidly becoming the unifying theme for a diversity of forest interests from forest owners to NGOs and land trusts to government agencies.

Discussion about traffic congestion, sewage and water services, cost of schools and police services, tax burdens and local impact fees, and so forth are real and immediate concerns, but they miss the big picture.

It's encouraging to read that many urban areas are using AMERICAN FORESTS' software to explore the values of forest services from their surrounding woodlands. I encourage you to send your editorial and key facets of your Autumn issue to newspaper editors.

One final thought: "Higher and better use" is a term used traditionally by land appraisers and tax assessors and it has meaning only in a purely short-term dollar sense. Those who work in the fields of forestry and natural resources do themselves and the forests a disservice if they don't work hard to convince the public and "society" that the "higher and better use" of forests over the long term is ... as forests! Green space, watersheds, wildlife habitats, oxygen production, atmospheric filtering, estuary buffering are essential attributes for a population to be sustainable in perpetuity. That's the essence of a new framework and way of thinking about America's forests.

Scott Wallinger

Seabrook Island, South Carolina

AMERICAN FORESTS: Bravo--very interesting issue of American Forests.

Seems to me that a good deal of what we have to do is create economic incentives for people to do the "right" things--peak use pricing of energy, internalizing costs, and making the kind of land management we want pay. In this regard, you may be interested in the fact that research at the Penobscot Experimental Forest here in Maine shows that destructive forest management pays about twice as well as good silviculture. If we want people to practice "good" forestry on a large scale, it needs to pay.

PS: I don't believe that this problem is limited to Maine, as the net present value of returns more than 30 years in the future are close to 0 in most of the US. What in forestry isn't 30 years out?

R. Alec Giffen, Director

Maine Forest Service

Augusta, Maine
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Words:822
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