Whither goest the ENTS documentation mission?    Robert Leverett
   Aug 16, 2005 13:12 PDT 


   The October edition of Yankee Magazine will feature an article on
protectors of New England's forests. One of those covered in the article
is yours truly. That's nice for me, but had the magazine been a
Pennsylvania publication, Dale Luthringer could have just as easily been
the subject or Will Blozan if in North Carolina or Tom Diggins if in
Ohio, and so on. ENTS is flush with protectors of the forest.

   The questions asked of me by the interviewer of Yankee Magazine set
me to thinking. What does it take, or at least should it take to be seen
by others as a protector of the forest? I'm flattered to be seen in that
light, any number of Ents qualify. Dave Stahle, Bob Van Pelt, Lee
Frelich, and Will Blozan are super qualifiers. They are in a class all
by themselves. Other ENTS academics/professionals are well on their way
to joining Dave, Bob, and Lee. Tom Diggins, Dale Luthringer, Jess
Riddle, and Don Bragg come to mind. Scott Wade, John Eichholz, and
others are not far behind and not to forget our wonderful friend Colby

   How will future forest historians and forest activists look upon ENTS
as an organization? Will our efforts be seen as having broken new
ground? What do we do that no one else is doing, or at least almost no
one? After all, there is no shortage of
academic-governmental-professional expertise. Our emphasis on
documenting the tall/large trees of a site and the different ways we
statistically report the results goes well beyond any other effort that
I have seen so far as the East is concerned. The champion tree lists and
the superficial site descriptions that are often provided in brochures
by state and federal agencies just don't hack it. But are we doing
enough to achieve sufficiant historical documentation of the great
sites? I have my opinions on that subject, but am curious as to what
others think?