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October 1997


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Deane Wang <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 13:44:12 -0500
text/plain (64 lines)
Hi,  Marc and Provo have some concerns relative to the NR206 assignment
(due Tuesday in class).

Good point. As a concerned citizen beleaguered by a government doing
all manner of projects "environmental" or otherwise -- you are asked
for your opinions as the "public." You have a few choices. 1) Spend long
hours boning up on the subject. 2) Call your friend who is an expert
in this area. 3) Leave the decision up to the special interest groups
that have either expertise, an axe to grind, or both. 4) Hire a consultant
to advise you. 5) "waste their time by asking such stupid questions.."
6) Look deep into your mind and heart to figure out what you know
about the project and how you FEEL about it. I'm figuring you will
go for #6. The FEELING part is easy. You just need to know how
you FEEL. We do many things in this country.... not for any rational
reason.... but because we do (or don't) want to. There really isn't a
rationale reason to explore Mars.... we (some, enough) just want to.
The exploring your mind is a bit harder. You actually do know quite
a bit about forests and harvests and that sort of thing... but you
just are having a bit of a struggle putting it together. The
clever government people who want to get something done have
learned to have a way with words so that they get minimal
resistance from the public. A "timber stand improvement cut"...
A "wildlife habitat improvement cut".... "visual impact
improvment management"..... These could be bona fide improvements
on the land.... or fancy words describing the fact that someone
wants to cut 3.14 million board feet of timber. Do you know enough
to question how the treatment will achieve some objective? Do
you know enough to question what wildlife species will
benefit. Do you know enough to understand that everything
is connected to everything else.... so all activities have impacts
on many other structures and processes at different scales... some
beneficially from one viewpoint.... but detrimental from another?
What viewpoints are out there? Why does the Green Mountain
Forest watch criticize the GMNF at every turn if in fact the
practices are "environmentally" motivated? What is their
perspective? What is your perspective? How do you FEEL about
this issue?

As the public you have the perogative to ask ANY kind of question
you want..... and you have the priviledge of even asking dumb
questions. They gotta respond ! (Tough job for these government
types huh?) You should seriously think about interning for these
folks to learn how the world works relative to environmental
assessement (see Jan Spencer)

>Marc thanks for reading my mind. I have very similar questions to this
>project that I feel need to be addressed. Provo
>Marc L. Bilodeau wrote:
>> Deane,
>> I am a little confused regarding what our role is in the project. I
>> realize that we are generating questions for the 206 students to address
>> but I am a "concerned environmentalist" evaluating a forest mangaement
>> plan and have no real knowledge of forest management. I would like to
>> come up with some issues but the plan as it is presented sounds well
>> thought out and seems to be intended to protect and preserve the forest
>> which, as an environmentalist, makes me happy. The report is full of
>> procedures and management steps of which I have no idea if they are good
>> or bad but sound just great. Do I waste their time by asking such
>> stupid questions as "What does that mean?" I'm at a loss.