Stewardship

My background in Ecology informs my environmental philosophy. While I will attempt to not be too "soapboxy," I do have a few things I'd like to express in terms of environmental ethics and stewardship. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the natural history of the world, and particularly the human impact of the last few hundred years. There are numerous ecological crises I could bring up, but here I'll focus on forest ecology as it pertains to Northwest Axe Company. 

© Adam Hoff

In the largest sense, I will assume that the majority of people reading this use our forests mostly for recreation; camping, hiking, scouting, etc. Some of you may live in the forest, and some of you live in the city. Regardless, there are a number of things you can do to lessen your impact on the environment and particularly on our forests. Please be conscious consumers, do your best to recycle, and try to support sustainable forestry practices. 

© Adam Hoff

I am a big proponent of leave no trace. This should be common sense for everyone by now. With over 7 billion humans on Earth, we need to be conscious of our individual effects in the larger scheme of things. The principle of leave no trace couldn't be simpler. To whatever extent possible, leave the areas you use and enjoy outdoors as you found them, or better. This means taking only what you need in terms of firewood, carefully picking up after yourself, and leaving your camp and trails clean and beautiful for the next people who wander by. You'll be doing them a favor, but more importantly, you'll be doing the flora and fauna who live there year round a favor by keeping their home clean. Let us pull from the wisdom of the people who lived here for thousands of years before us. While the Native Americans were not perfect stewards, it is fair to say they were historically far better at utilizing only what they needed, and using most or all of what they took from the land. Are we perfect? Far from it, and we won't always be able to leave no trace. That's part of the human experience. The idea is just to lessen our impacts so that many more generations will be able to enjoy these special places.

© Maria Bianco

The links below are provided for you to do your own research and make your mind up about the state of our forests and the environment. 

http://www.fs.fed.us/

http://www.fs.fed.us/locatormap/

http://www.nationalforests.org/

http://www.environmentalstewardship.org/

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2016387586_secureschools03m.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/16/obama-administration-appr_n_235311.html

http://articles.cnn.com/2000-03-16/nature/forest.logging.enn_1_national-forests-forest-logging-forest-protection?_s=PM:NATURE

http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/west/caselogging.pdf

http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/46782.html

http://www.fs.fed.us/global/aboutus/policy/tt/logging.htm

http://www.fseee.org/

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/fr/fr04200.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/stewardship/

http://www.dof.virginia.gov/mgt/select-cutting.htm

http://na.fs.fed.us/stewardship/pubs/guidelines/guidelines.htm

http://biology.unm.edu/mmfuller/WebDocs/HTMLfiles/harvest%20model.html

http://healingharvestforestfoundation.org/

http://lnt.org/

http://www.ecoforestry.net/

http://www.savetheredwoods.org/index.php

http://www.environmentalgovernance.org/research/issues/forests/ 

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/02/local/la-me-gs-true-cost-ikea-logging-oldgrowth-forests-20120601

http://ran.org/alternatives-logging-old-growth

http://alaskaconservation.org/conservation-issues/tongass-rainforest/updates-field/forest-service-shifts-oldgrowth-logging/

© Andy Gregory