The mission of USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of Federal lands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Basically, the work of the Forest Service is to care for the land and serve the people according to the greatest good for the greatest number. Siuslaw National Forest is an example of the controversy behind the stewardship and conservation of National Forest Service. The geographic and geological conditions of the Pacific Northwest ecosystems, makes Siuslaw National Forest one of the biggest producer of wood in the United States.
Commercial species like douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) alder trees species and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) have been intensively exploited since before the establishment of Siuslaw National Forest, creating monoculture patches of tree species with fast succession and recovery capacity. For example, at Siuslaw National Forest there are unnatural areas of douglas fir’s and western hemlock with are species tolerant to shadow, on the other hand many species have no recovery opportunities because they are shadow sensitive. Since, iconic and umbrella species like the spotted owl and marbled murrelet that depend on old growth and variety of tree species became listed as threatened. One of the main duties of the National Forest has been the generation of funds for conservation with the harvest of commercial woody plants, seeking sustainability with the restoration of several areas when they plant diverse temperate rainforest native species on patches of federal lands with monoculture, allowing the natural succession of species sensitive to shadow.
During last week’s field ranger training, I understood the importance of environmental communicators, they with their interpersonal skills transmit and translate to the general public the information and concerns; that us as scientists obtain when we develop research and collect data. Moreover, I finally got a broad picture of the efforts that the forest service do to conserve and serve the public. Although conservation and public service sometimes are opposite, both intentions are crucial for the forests sustainability.