Letter: Professional forester: Management is ‘art, science’

To the editor:

Regarding timber harvests on state forests: It is easy to criticize something you don’t understand. And if you are not open to understanding, you won’t learn.

Basically, the logic used by many people is: If it looks bad, it is bad. And that logic has also been stretched to imply: If it looks bad, it can’t be scientifically based.

There is no premise to that logic. Forest management on state forests utilizes the practice of silviculture, which, by definition, is an art and a science. And there is so much more to the decisions being made out in the forests than many people realize.

As a professional forester, I know the objectives of my decisions — many of which will not become evident for many years. Too bad we can’t approach subjects with an inquisitive eye instead of a skeptical and negative eye.

Forests are dynamic. A part of the wonder of hardwood forests, such as we have in Indiana, is natural regeneration. We don’t even need to plant seeds or seedlings. The seeds of many tree species can persist for years in the forest’s soil.

There are so many unseen benefits of timber harvests — most of which require time and patience to see and discover.

And if “tree tops left to rot” is an offense (as written in a recent letter), I believe salamanders would beg to differ.

Laurie Burgess, Becks Grove Road (Brown County)

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