A Path to Sustainable Community Development
Introduction - What
The biggest piece of our environment in the eastern United States is our forests. So it naturally is the most important part of our surroundings, just by volume or default. Being the dominant environmental condition means it is also appropriately - a hugely complex issue. The gist of this writing is kin to the issue of “Not being able to see the forest for the trees”. This old quote or cliché/phrase is true in today’s world, maybe more than ever. The purpose of this writing is to share the view of the forests held by a “treeroots” movement from Appalachia called the Healing Harvest Forestry Coalition. If you can, just start out this reading by thinking of them as organic loggers/woodsmen that work with an organization they started, that is like the “green cross” for the forest.
Context - theater of operation -Where
This writing is not purposefully intended to be an advertisement or promotion of our organization or my personal forest management business. However to discuss these issues deeply and thoroughly they will inevitably be written about including the context of our 501c3 non-profit organization that exist as a public charity to serve the public good. In order to teach the skills and ethics of this work, (in the field or forest actually) one must be an actual practitioner – in order to facilitate hands-on learning. Our classrooms are the forests of our communities. This is our effort to practice the best forestry we know. Our goal is to share the information based upon our experiential knowledge, academic education and a very personal relationship with the forests and community. A link to the HHFF website is provided to allow the reader to refer to other writings that exist as public information, for the public good. Several other links and references will be made in the course of a hopefully ongoing exchange about restorative and therefore sustainable forestry with the public through any medium possible.
Bottom up change – Who
The practitioners of restorative forestry through modern animal powered logging are attempt at a best effort to produce forest products within the principles of protecting, nurturing and truly being a steward of our land. The naturally humbling and harmonizing presence of a biological power system is admittedly labor intensive but highly efficient in many ways. Working with animals is a good thing. It is most efficient in protecting the resources of our communities. More of the money from extraction of natural resources stays in the community from this method. This writing will be based up thirty years experience working with draft horses on thousands of acres of forests throughout the state of Virginia and elsewhere. We hope to explore all the complex relationships of this work as it plays a role in the forest products industry and the socio-economic reality of the mostly forested rural parts of our world. All the principles are applicable everywhere there are trees and people. This very complex culture is seen and shared from the perspective of the people actually doing the work. The common goal of social stability, environmental stewardship and long term economic prosperity is sought through bottom up change in our world. This is attempted by empowering the ground level workers with the skills to practice restorative forestry and the development of the ethical human dignity behind why to practice restorative forestry. There is no question that this is very hard work. We would hope that some exchange with the public is evoked in sharing this experience. I look forward to responding and hearing anyone’s thoughts and comments.
Why, the motivation, the reasons, the becauses