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Essays On Forest Management

ANTH 410A | ENVIR 410A | ESRM 405A

Ecology, Economy, and Politics of Resource-Extraction Ecosystems

Spring Quarter 2017
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-11:20, Denny 212
Field trips all day Fridays April 14, May 12, and May 26

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Essay Assignment for the Forest Resources Unit
Due 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 24

Write 1500-2000 words on one of the following topics:

A. It is clear from our readings, lectures, and field trip that forests have multiple uses (wood products, energy, and a variety of ecosystem services), and that these uses are often in conflict with each other. It is also clear that these conflicts are not just scientific and ecological, but also political. Given what you know about the Eastside or dry side forests of Washington and Oregon, what principles would you use to design a policy for balancing these different uses of forests? You do not need to develop a plan, but rather you need to set out the ecological, economic, and cultural uses of these forest lands, the particular stakeholders that are likely to favor particular uses, and the overall costs and benefits of emphasizing one use over another for sustainability and resilience at the system scale.

B. A lot of management and planning for forest lands depends on understanding the past history of such lands (as the USFS has done at the national scale, Hessburg and Agee have done for the Eastside forests in general, and the Yakama Nation has done for its own forests), and then projecting how this history might inform what we expect to happen in the near future (as the USFS did in its Future of America's Forests and Rangelands report and the Yakama Nation has done with its own Forest Management Plans). There are many potential pitfalls with such a strategy, including incomplete historical knowledge, the hypothetical nature of scenarios, the general unpredictability of the future, and the tendency of managers to follow plans less adaptively than they might. Analyze each of these (and other) weaknesses of this strategy of planning as it applies to the Eastside forests. Then consider whether there is any alternative: if so, what is it, and if not, why not?

C. In recent years, scientists, historians, and managers have come to appreciate that traditional land managers, including native peoples who manage according to traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), have often managed natural resources in more sustainable or resilient ways than have professional managers. At the same time, not all the situations of forest management that we now face (see, for example, the USFS report, the Yakama forest management plans, and your field trip notes) have precedents in traditional knowledge and the practices associated with it. For the Eastside forests, what and how should managers and the public learn from traditional management by Native Americans, and in what aspects of forest management (ecological, economic, and cultural) is there not enough relevant Native experience that can be applied, and why not?

D. We will never know how much of the Yakama Nation forests would have been spared from the Cougar Creek Fire if the firefighting team had acted differently. However, it is clear that at some point, resources that could have been used to fight the fire on an off the Yakama Reservation were devoted instead to endangered homes near Lake Chelan and elsewhere. The point of this assignment is not to second-guess the firefighters or their tactics, but to think about the tradeoffs involved in saving an important tribal resource vs. saving private homes. What ecological, economic, and political forces impinge on this kind of a decision, and if you were in charge of allocating limited resources to one or the other, how would you consider these forces in making your decision? Finally, you might want to reflect on why decision-makers might be faced with this kind of tradeoff in the first place.

Essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words in length, not counting bibliographic references. You may use any style (footnotes, endnotes, or embedded author and date) for references, as long as it is clear where you have gotten your information. Quotations should always be referenced, as should any information that is taken explicitly from a given source.

Forest Management in India!

There is an urgent need for bringing to halt the ecological degradation in the form of deforestation which in turn results in soil erosion, desertification and harmful climatic conditions.

Forest management aims at efficient management of forests in such a way that the needs of the present generation be met without affecting the ability of fu­ture generations to meet their own needs i.e. forest management aims to en­sure equal access to forests by future generations. For ensuring this, the rate of utilisation of forest products has to be within the limits of regeneration.

The following measures should be taken to conserve the forest wealth:

(a) Timber and fuel wood should be used very economically by minimising wast­age.

(b) Alternate sources of energy such as biogas solar energy etc. should be de­veloped to supplement fuel wood.

(c) Overgrazing and deforestation should be prohibited. Reforestation of defor­ested areas should be encouraged.

(d) Pest and fire control by modern techniques should be adopted to prevent loss of forests.

(e) Forestry should be improved by modern techniques like use of fertilizers, irrigation, weed control, tissue-culture etc.

Another vital aspect of forest conservation is afforestation which means grow­ing of forests in areas unfit for agriculture due to adverse climatic and edaphic factors like saline waterlogged unstable soils etc. Afforestation is undertaken after remedying the adverse factors.

It was stipulated in the National Forest Policy (1952) that 33 per cent of a country’s land area should be under forest cover to sustain agriculture and maintain the quality of our environment but in India forests form only 23 per cent of the total land area.

With a view to make up for this shortfall, the central and state governments have undertaken many afforestation programmes such as:

(a) Agro Forestry:

In this the same piece of land is used for farming, forestry and animal husbandry.

(b) Social Forestry:

In this trees are raised for fuel wood, fodder, edible fruits, agricultural implements and construction purposes for rural populations.

(c) Urban Forestry:

In this the ornamental fruit trees are grown in urban areas such as house compounds, common parks and along roads. In India, ever since 1950, a special function of tree plantation namely Van Mahotsava is held each year to make people forest-conscious. Van Mahotsava is celebrated twice a year during the months of February and July.

For a week in each of these months, tree plantation is carried out in barren unproductive fallow land. Thereafter, with regular care and protection these saplings grow into full fledged trees. Van Mahotsava is not merely a festival it is a process of land transformation to recreate forests where there were none before.