Through his new book Forests Forever, environmental activist and educator John Berger brings his contribution to discussions concerning world forest management. Broadly analyzing ecology, law, policy, and history as they relate to global forest ecosystems, Berger draws upon scientific information and cultural values to advocate certain kinds of sustainable logging practices.
Berger opposes clearcutting in the vast majority of cases because of the serious changes the practice brings about for an entire local ecosystem, and encourages selective logging, especially when designed to be as low-impact as possible by removing diseased or invasive trees, or trees next to the most vigorously growing ones to allow light to reach those with the greatest future growth potential. Throughout the book he analyzes various forest management and logging techniques in detail in terms of their environmental and economic impact, and goes through various (mostly American) leaders’ approaches to conservation issues.
This book, while serious in tone, is not entirely ‘doom and gloom’ – Berger praises certain decisions made by some logging firms, the Collins Company, for example, to harvest timber in a more sustainable way. Also, he looks into the Forest Stewardship Council’s approach to land management and discusses how some firms now choose to get wood from FSC-certified logging areas…along with mentioning wood substitutes, such as hemp and kenaf grass, which can also be made into soft paper. Finally, Forest Ethics’ Do Not Mail campaign allows people to request that junk mail not be sent to their homes, which actually saves the companies sending it money and time if recipients have no intention of ever responding to certain offers, as well as conserving paper.
Finally, Berger discusses ecosystem restoration efforts, and describes some efforts currently under way by groups such as the Oregon-based Lomakatsi Project. He outlines how and why he believes steps towards renewal, such as native tree planting, are still worthwhile.
John Berger’s book may be ordered online through his organization’s website, http://www.forestsforever.org/
You may also read about certain firms and organizations which Berger mentions in Forests Forever directly through their websites
Collins Companies: http://www.collinswood.com/index.html
Lomakatsi Restoration Project (locally based Oregon (United States) reforestation and ecosystem restoration group, with a statement of ecological findings and principles derived from their experiences): http://www.lomakatsi.org/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
Also, you may purchase and read reviews of Forests Forever on Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Forests-Forever-Ecology-Restoration-Preservation/dp/193006652X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 May be more navigable than the Forests Forever main site.
Berger and Synchronized Chaos Magazine invite comments on and discussion of this book from everyone, including ecologists, biologists, and scientists, as well as timber industry people.