Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:09 am
by dbhguru
Joe,

There isn't any disagreement between us as to the importance of good forestry. The question for us at the outset was should the Eastern Native Tree Society become a voice in forestry debates that were raging at the the time, courtesy of the northern spotted owl and other species endangered by logging the last of the great Pacific Coast forests that weren't protected? We strayed into that territory once and its extensions to Massachusetts, and it didn't work because those issues, however valid in the right forum, weren't why we established ENTS or its current incarnation as NTS. We have to stay focused or we become irrelevant to what we set out to accomplish. We can't allow ourselves to become immersed in politics, religion, social issues, etc. Any of those forums would be the kiss of death.

A borderline issue is to what extent does NTS become a voice in forest preservation issues since many of us have been involved in conservation and preservation for years, or in my case, decades. Again, other than grumblings about an issue here or there, that is not our mission. As a consequence, you won't find many hardcore environmentalists on board as participating members of the BBS. Almost none. That once bothered me, but I accept that they believe that their focus must stay on the politics. Can't they be in NTS for NTS purposes and in other forums for their primary mission? Well, they can, but they aren't.

As you know, a major mission of NTS over the years has been to bring truth into the big tree numbers. I would argue that given the impact we currently have attained in American Forests and in a number of active state champion tree programs, that we've been successful. As just one example, Don Bertolette and I are currently working closely withe the Texas champion tree program and training them in a variety of measuring techniques. On Thursday, I was on a conference call with three of them for well over an hour hashing out methods for measuring gobsmackers. Very successful.

In summary, I would ask: does the focus of NTS matter to the majority of timber professionals and environmentalists - at all levels? Apparently not. But from my perspective, it's their loss.

Bob