Requiem for a Forest   Gary A. Beluzo
  Nov 06, 2005 17:01 PST 


This is not a scientific post. This is an impression to a discovery behind
my dad's house.


My childhood forest was "murdered" this past week. It was not "harvested",
for no mature trees were left standing as a seed source, and unlike an
agricultural field, the logger approached the forest with an unrelenting
blitzkrieg; it was not "mined" for that word should be reserved for rock,
sand, and other nonliving resources. No, in a very real sense the forest
was "murdered", every single living tree was taken- the oak forest was
clearcut. Where once a complex living system flourished, now a greatly
simplified landscape lays testament to the folly of human management.   

This past weekend I personally witnessed bad forestry. Although several
weeks ago the old widow that lives next door assured me that the forest was
to be marked by an experienced forester and logged by a responsible company,
the reality is that she never ventures out her door, she has never seen the
forest behind her house, she has no real connection to the land. Neither
did the forester that marked the property. Neither did the logger that
ripped gaping holes in the forest floor pulling the dead logs from the cut.


I am already working on a poem "Requiem for a Forest" which will be set to
music eventually. Whereas science is an appropriate medium for knowing a
forest objectively, only music can convey the total impression that a forest
makes on us. Thank you once again for bringing music to our ENTS rendezvous
this year.


RE: ENTS Poetry and Prose Session   Monica Jakuc
  Nov 07, 2005 10:15 PST 

Dear Gary,

My deepest condolences to you in your grief.

In my view, this is a call-to-arms to all of us to remain vigilant and
to continue to do everything we can to save our precious trees.

I look forward to seeing and hearing your poem, with or without music.
Maybe it can become part of the ENTS rendezvous events in october 2006.

With sympathy,

On Gary's Pain   Robert Leverett
  Nov 07, 2005 11:20 PST 


We all hurt for you and we hurt for the damaged land of your youth.
The situation that you've described causes me to think back to the time
on our list when we entertained forestry topics as a main part of our
discussion framework. We had the two maverick foresters, who for all
their insensitivity were basically right about the abominable state of
forest practices in Massachusetts and the impotence of the Bureau of
Forestry. Guess nothing has changed. With exceptions of course, local
loggers continue to be dopes at best and renegades/conartists at the
worst, often scamming land owners who are perpetually ignorant of the
current value of their trees and the potential of their land to yield
forest products for many years - if managed carefully. We could rehash
bad forest practices on the list, but it would serve little purpose. All
of us in ENTS make up the choir. It is just unfortunate that the two
maverick foresters who had such potential for making positive
contributions couldn't quite grasp that simple fact.

     Pictures of the butchery that you describe should be circulated via
the web without property identification, but with a clear message:
unsupervised logging operations are a disaster. The sad, sad case
appears to be that there was a professional? private forester who was
supposed to oversee the logging operations. It appears the forester
couldn't be trusted either. And the weak, excuse-making professional
forestry societies in Mass can be counted on to look the other way. They
are worthless.

    What makes me as sick as the rape of that property is that the
really fine foresters like the late Karl Davies, Michele Wilson, Bruce
Spencer, Russ Richardson, and Ehrhard Frost get tarnished by the
misbehavior of their shortcutting associates. I'm sure that any one of
the above would feel as sick as you did at seeing the death of that

Re: On Gary's Pain
  Nov 07, 2005 14:55 PST 

The worst thing is that in addition to the environmental destruction of such
a harvest as you described, the widow may well have only received about 10
to 25% of what her pillaged and plundered forest was really worth and the
harvest guidelines were probably along the lines of..."you nice young men do what
you think is right"

Russ Richardson