Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:21 am
by Joe
Don Bragg, I see in the bulletin that you were/are Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Forestry. Has there ever been a mention of the NTS in the Journal?

By the way, though many articles in the Journal are well written- as a private sector consulting forester since the mid '70s, I've always felt that there wasn't much in the Journal that was relevant to me. It seemed that the articles had little to do with the world I lived in. I seldom if ever saw any serious critiques of the profession. There certainly is a lot wrong with forestry- but you wouldn't know it by reading the Journal. The conclusion of most consultants I know is that it's a journal for professors and SAF big shots and the really big industry people. This is certainly not a criticism of you- as you can only edit what people send you.

Then in the '90s came along the Forest Guild. The first several issues of their journal were fabulous- written mostly by people like me- with similar concerns and problems- that is, dealing with mediocre state burreacracies, dealing with difficult loggers, how to survive as a field forester- which career is usually seen as the bottom of the profession. Then, after a few years, the Guild lost its way- though I do have the only Guild Model Forest in Mass.

Now, the only forestry "journal" I can relate to is The Northern Logger. The articles in it are "down and dirty" about the realities of working in the forests- written mostly for loggers but also relevant to consultants who work with those loggers- because the articles are about rapidly changing markets, about machinery, about the daily difficulties of working in the woods- and written in a "plain old Yankee English", easy to read and without pretension.

I suppose it can be said that if most "professional foresters" work in "big government" and "big companies" or are professors- then the SAF Journal is for them- but then, that's why so many private sector foresters with small companies or consultants don't bother with the SAF.

In the late '90s and for several years- I got into some intense debates with some of the top SAF "leaders" at that time, along with the late Karl Davies, a consultant from Northampton, MA. We really rocked the boat back then- and several times we were simply locked out of the SAF list serve. I was amazed then how little about the real world some of the top people were aware of. One SAF President from NY state- told me that high grading didn't exist in NY state! Yet, a logger I know from NY state said it's great working in NY because it's so easy to "hammer forests" compared to Mass. I know I was rather sarcastic at times but it seemed to be necessary to get some points across. The humor in my sarcasm was never seen- as, in general, the discussions were humorless and often anti "tree hugger" as if the tree hugger type was the biggest problem foresters faced. (Bob Leverett was a witness to these "debates" because I usually cc'd the messages to him)

Anyway, again, this isn't a critique of you- but I thought I needed to mention my displeasure with the SAF. I might say more if anybody shows an interest to keep this discussion going, but maybe it's not a good place for it.