Guest Viewpoint

The current health of the "Forever Wild" lands is not ecologically well. These forests are not producing new trees as they should. Forests that are managed and periodically harvested in an ecologically viable way produces a forest of mixed aged trees with the best genetics out competing the less hardy trees. This means you always have young, growing trees and lots of species diversity.

This diversity is not limited to trees. If you can produce a forest with different levels and ages of trees, you create habitats for multitudes of different animal species and a growing habitat for different plant species. Healthy, growing forests convert more carbon dioxide into oxygen and tie up more carbon than stagnant, weak forests do. Healthy forests protect our waterways and water quality by acting as a buffer for runoff, sedimentation, and flood control. Healthy forests also create long-term revenue and lasting jobs for local communities.

We are heading into an energy crisis and one of our most important renewable resources is being overlooked and neglected. Wood can heat our homes, it can produce our electricity, and it can help offset petroleum by becoming a primary source of ethanol. All of these products will not only boost the local economy by easing fuel and heating costs, but they have the potential to produce large amounts of jobs.

People could find lifetime employment in proper management of the "Forever Wild" lands, not only through direct harvesting and logging jobs, but through new wood pellet factories, wood fired power plants, log truck companies, and ethanol production facilities. Our forests are local, thus transportation costs and transportation fuel demand to support these growing industries could be kept low. Between wood, wind, solar, and water power the Adirondack Park could become forever self-sustaining.

What I propose is we first concentrate protection on higher elevation ecosystems, shorelines, wetlands, and critical habitat areas. Next, determine where our new products can be utilized and create new demand for these products. I feel that the current focus should be concentrated on renewable energy production.

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