Letter: Explore new ways of saving forests
Dick Lindsay's very informative March 17 article, "Tree-destroying ash borer spreading quickly in county, state" deserves wide-reaching attention, especially due to the potential impact on the scenic beauty of the Berkshires, the watershed, and the resulting economic risk exposure that local economies will endure.
While the Berkshires are globally renowned as America's premier cultural resort, the primary reason travelers are attracted to the area is to enjoy the scenic beauty that embraces our cultural, recreation, historic, natural, entertainment, dining, and retail attractions. Make no mistake about it, without its scenic beauty, the Berkshires could become a very bleak place, very fast.
Perhaps this suggests we (the powers to be including the interested populous) should explore and review "forest management best practices in a climate disrupted time of uncertainty" as a back-up safety net of shared knowledge of best practices for how to best protect our forest, our clean air, our watershed, to conserve, filter, purify water, and the streams, and rivers that flow from forests feeding the natural, scenic beauty, lakes, growing fields, pastures, and meadows throughout the county.
The Berkshires are better than 85 percent forest. Agriculture products, of which forestry is a major component producer, are powerful and sustainable economic drivers for local economies.
The article suggests eradication of these destructive pests is not a likely possibility. With the introduction of potential solutions, it will take 5-10 years to assess their efficacy, while emerald ash borers can kill a healthy ash tree in three to five years. With 45 million ash trees in the Berkshires' forests, these ash borers will have plenty to feed on. Research findings are going to trail the devastation, the ash will simply be wiped out based on current strategies and the guiding knowledge.
We need to swiftly explore new ways of thinking about how to preserve our scenic beauty, watershed resources, air quality, agriculture and the essential resources of local economic drivers. It is a new day, and we need to deploy new ways of dealing with rapidly emerging, challenging situations, by creating sustainable food, energy, and local economic systems while mitigating the adverse affects of persistent climate disruption.
There is much to be done and little time for doing it.
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