Forestry's Conundrum: High Value, Low Relevance
Forests have never been more valuable or more at risk. So why isn't public attention riveted on forests? Why isn't Forestry's relevance increasing? The Journal is full of laments about Forestry being misunderstood by the public and misrepresented by media. This is a legitimate concern. However, a bigger problem exists: the declining political and economic power of Forestry's traditional patrons. Forestry is a service-oriented profession that emerged and evolved to meet the needs of powerful patrons; and several of these patrons—government agencies, forest industry, and commodity producing landowners—have declining power and influence. Forestry's future lies with new patrons: environmental nongovernment organizations, residential forest investors, and the working green infrastructure. Servicing these groups will require Forestry to develop new tools and tactics.
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