Nearing the end of a lifetime in the boreal forest, a retired forester writes a passionate plea for rational, science-based forest management.
The boreal forest is constantly changing, often dramatically. We like to picture it as a stable, balanced system. Really, it is anything but stable.
For over sixty years, forester Malcolm F. Squires has seen mature forests, protected within National Parks, devastated by insects, moose, wind, and wildfire. While the forests often return from this destruction, they are never quite the same. A naturally balanced boreal forest is a human notion that does not match the reality of nature. The boreal forest is always changing. The boreal forest is dynamic. If we don’t soon collectively recognize and accept this reality and stop making irrational demands that a forest be “protected” from change or human management, we may be conditioning it to succumb to disaster in the future.