¿Destroying Old Forest to Build New Forest?

Context:    Since I don’t trust the state agencies to fully and appropriately consider voluntary suggestions, and because I don’t expect nor want to come to depend on another entity (especially the state) to do the right thing for my benefit, I decided to repost what I wrote on the NJ’s Department of Environmental Protection Comment Form. It is an issue that has specific and generalizable lessons to be learned (including many Machiavellian undertones and ulterior motives at play), though it is dubious whether or not the lessons from the past—and lessons from an accessible imaginative thinking process that all we humans have a capacity for— will come to guide the current particular issue at hand. That issue, the issue which I am writing towards below, can be read more about here.

Hello,
Regarding the viability of the Sparta Mountain WMA plan, it seems to
me that there will be unintended consequences and impacts to the
surrounding area and ecosystems, not to mention resetting the overall
biomass already established (including the oft forgotten fungal
kingdom established underneath). The people who have the highest hopes
for the implementation of this plan will not be the only ones
executing it when time comes and contracts are signed. If this plan
passes (which I hope it does not), many of the people taking part in
its implementation will be subcontracted, transferred, or temporary
employees who do not hold the values of organizations like the DEP and
NJ Audubon Society; their workmanship will come to show their lack of
commitment in obvious and not so obvious ways that lead to harmful
aftereffects to the surrounding acreage. It is my opinion that we
should trust in nature to manage the area far more than we should
trust in ourselves; what species unbeknownst would we be endangering
to this area if this plan goes through? Are we right to weigh and
privilege the lives of one bird and a few particular trees knowingly
and unknowingly against many other species of plants and animals that
must die during the course of this plan being implemented. Further,
the precedent that is being introduced and reinforced here is to make
exceptions to the protection law—such is the law’s failing as well as
our own.

In a broader scope, since this seems like the appropriate place to
suggest forward thinking on matters of land stewardship, I have the
following thoughts:
If you want to reforest habitat in New Jersey for endangered species,
your efforts should go to ripping out industrial wastelands that are
capping the ground with cement/buildings/pavement, and enabling forest
succession to occur at its own, unhandicapped pace. Further, if public
efforts were channeled instead to prevent the next ten suburban
developments and corporate campuses from being constructed, we would
be saving hundreds of acres of wild land right there, by choosing to
do nothing! This to me is exponentially wiser and better for the
future inheritors of this land, whether they be
plant/animal/fungi/other.

Epilogue:

I didn’t realize the logging profitability aspect when I wrote into the comment form yesterday, but upon reading the article in full now (it was quite extensive for my ADHD tendencies, so I feel quite accomplished!), it paints in new complications and subtleties to the issue, which usually serve to muddy the debate and allow the stronger contender (the state) to push through what it wanted to do all along. I don’t think logging is the whole story anyways, but it is certainly a contributing vector, along with the companies that will bid-and-win the enviable public contracts. Finding these ulterior motives deeper in the article fleshes out what I wrote and the thought processes that I used to get there sans such information, and reaffirms the mental faculties I have cultivated to evaluate current human tendencies in industrial-financial state-capitalism; I have renewed confidence in myself to see through the layers of bullshit that are employed to continue the tumorous and perilous pushing forward of ill-conceived and mal-conceived human projects on Earth. I enjoy praising myself publicly, particularly knowing how politically incorrect it is to do so, not in the least because I know we live in a time of very very incorrect politics.

Going further down the road of politically incorrect tendencies, I do place a degree of trust in my stereotypes; I think we have stereotypes built in to our psyche for good reasons. My stereotypes of NJ Audubon’s Vice President of Stewardship John Cecil—and what a bureaucracy they must be to have such a concise title—tell me that he is not forthright, based merely on his words in the article and the picture of him. Something visually strikes me about him that is very disingenuous: he is clean shaven, wearing a well kept suit, a poser that clashes with the leafy background behind, and one who cares more about constructing appearances (whether visually or linguistically); he is a marketer, one familiar with tactics employed by public relations divisions; whether or not he is an avid bird conservationist, I would warrant he is much more interested in watching his money grow. He is not a particularly evil man, just banally so, like many of his neighbors in this state and country that has blazed so far down the wrong path, through an old and sacred forest.

In summation, to ground ourselves, I think we all need to ask: “what would Treebeard do?”

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