01:17:20 - 01:21:41 Impressions
impressions, change, clear cutting, harvest
And, I guess, have you seen any change over time in the way that the Forest Service has been perceived either by people who work here or by people outside the Lab?
Well, it has changed a lot. There's no doubt it's changed a lot. When I first came in the '60s, I mean, you know, the Forest Service was, and the way the government interacted, and what the Forest Service was supposed to do is really to have foresters out there to manage the forests for a product. Even though, even in college, we were taught multiple use forestry, and that we were supposed to use the forest not just for wood, but for this and for that. But there was this perception that that's all we were doing. And then, of course, part of that perception was they would have these cuts, and, of course, the best way to manage a Douglas-fir forest was to clear cut it. I have to admit, that maybe that they should, that they had too big of clear cuts back in the day. But if you go back to those clear cuts today, I mean, they're coming back. I mean even, they're certainly coming back; there's no doubt that they are. The fires are much worse. And, and the Forest Service and Smokey Bear put out fires like mad. And now of course they're saying, no, they shouldn't have done that. And I'm thinking, people, you wanted us to put out fires, and you still want us to put the fires out. I just talked to people in the wildfires in California, and they expect the Forest Service to put them out, and yet they're saying, let them burn. So there's this big controversy and I think the Forest Service has always been the person to get the bad rap for all this stuff that's going on and I don't think they deserve it at all. They were supposed to manage those forests, and they did, and they did a good job of it, for the most part. I always felt that, that when they switched over then, and said ok, no, we're not going to manage any longer for, for product---so now we don't manage at all for product. We manage for conservation, or recreation, or ecological whatever, very little, I mean, I don't know what the numbers are, but if you compared numbers of how much is cut and what's cut, it's just minimal compared to what it was in the '60s, you know. And, and if that's what people want, I mean, I'm not saying that that's not a good thing or bad thing, but I do say that, you know, hey, make up your mind, you know, you can't do both, you know. And I still think we ought to be managing, to some extent, for timber. And what really makes me just sick is when you go out to see where the fire has burned, and they wouldn't allow cuts at all. And now you have nothing but a moonscape for practically as far as you can see. And when you see that and you think, oh god why didn't they get in here and just take this stuff out of here instead of letting it just burn? And now, of course, it's, it's---and they won't even let people go in and harvest the down stuff. Now, in some cases I would say, it's probably not a good idea because of the landscape and whatnot. But, I mean, other places they certainly should be allowed to cut for whatever, just because it's sitting there, and it's, you know, if you harvest half of it, woodpeckers and everybody else are going to have plenty to do whatever they need to do. Because some of it, so much of it is just going to sit there and rot and fall down. Well, anyway, so it has changed over the years. I mean, the whole, the whole aspect of what the Forest Service was supposed to do and has done. And now they've switched over and they're doing all these other things. And it's now more conservation and recreation than timber management.