Forestry Under-Appreciated

Going to a Wisconsin County Forestry Association conference, who would have thought?

Thursday and Friday morning I attended this conference. I didn’t know what to expect. I was there as a guest and I was interested in learning more about wood. Sounded simple before I got there, right? After a day and a half, I am in awe of what happens to get wood logged, … but it is so much more. These people, together; the foresters, the managers, the researchers, the detail desk job workers, they all work as one, keeping the county forests healthy and safe, - very much like caring for our bodies, which should be no surprise. All that goes into that management and care is beautiful, and hard work, and I believe, because they are a passionate group, and nature is their life’s work. With forestry degrees, and many other degrees, these foresters spoke their own language. I was totally unable to understand many lectures. They know a depth of knowledge I liken to parents knowing their kids. I use this example because of the tenderness and aliveness as they speak and explain their insights. So, no matter the weather, they are always protecting and caring for these forests. And from the ones I had the chance to chat with, they spend their free time in nature too. I did not know that in Wisconsin, there are over 2 million acres in the care of the counties, more than in any other state, and more than the Wisconsin state or national forests. I left with a respect and appreciation for the effort, the body of knowledge, the sophistication of the tools, the communication systems, the genuine sharing of local current conditions, and much I don’t have the vocabulary or knowledge, more than to say, they work to stay ahead of the biology of a forest, possible diseases and dangers, some from climate change, and they maintain forests that can host animals of every size and shape, and us, visiting these magnificent forests. My Eco Fire Bars were a success and I had many suggestions; the variety ran from the tins for emergency packs for military survival kits, the small mini bars for back country hunters, new to me, and raceway campgrounds and blue grass music festivals. I will reach them all. Thanks everyone, especially Jane, the ED and Brian the President. Happy Fires, Mary