Mother nature vs. USFS? or Breckenridge Town Council vs. USFS?
I would like to make a few comments pertaining to SDN’s Oct.15 story, “Mother Nature vs. USFS.” I was objectively reading the story with interest until I came to Councilmember Eric Mamula’s quote, “The Forest Service doesn’t know what’s right and not right.” What came into my mind was, “But what does he know about forest management and does he know what’s right and not right? Is the Breckenridge Town Council shooting down the plan just because they could? Did the council have sound, factual, scientific, and objective reasons for their decision?The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has been in the forest management business for a long time, has conducted extensive research during that time, keeps on doing so, and is full of employees with a high-level of education and experience in forest management. What is the council’s background on the subject? How about a public debate on the USFS Upper Blue Stewardship Plan (UBSP) between the council and USFS, and then let the public decide – that would prove interesting. The council consists of experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated people, and I commend and thank them for their work. But, do they know everything about everything? I question their knowledge about forest management. If you are going to have brain surgery, would you go to the council or to a brain surgeon? If you want a forest management plan, do you go to the council or to the USFS? I would like to know if the council is qualified to make such decisions that ultimately affect the community and visitors. What are their decisions based on? If there is no sound basis, then it is not fair to the community to say “no” to the UBSP. If the council doesn’t have the same level of experience and knowledge as the USFS, then it should at the minimum consult with a third party entity that is on par with the USFS so decisions could be made on facts such as case studies, research results, experience, and knowledge of forest dynamics. I couldn’t agree more with Councilmember Jim Lamb’s quote, “When dealing with Mother Nature, I’m going to side with Mother Nature.” Mother Nature has been doing her thing for millions of years and has been flawless – but only in situations where humans have not intervened – which are very rare these days. Now, Mother Nature has been forced to live with this thing called civilization and she doesn’t know what to do with that monkey wrench in her works. So to side with Mother Nature is not always the answer – Mother Nature doesn’t know what to do in many cases, including (in) our local forests – and needs help. Simply, “siding with Mother Nature” at this point in time is an oversimplification. I would hope that the council would be more open-minded on matters as this, consider all the facts, history, case studies, research, and consult with third party experts, before decisions are made that affect all of us now and in the future.
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