Thank-you, thank-you for publishing Ian Coutts article about Ontario’s father of forestry. I trained as a forester many years ago and was very much inspired by the work of foresters such as Zavitz. It always breaks my heart that so little is known about the love of ecology that so many foresters have. We are trained to protect the forest from the kind of abuse that agriculture once imposed upon the new lands by Europeans who did not understand the land and were encouraged to clear it due to the politics and poverty that existed in these early days of Ontario’s development.
Humans have always looked to forests as a source of economic and psychological well being. If those needs can be met through good management, we have the best of all worlds, in my opinion. Foresters do more than supervise the cutting of trees, they do it in a way that protects the environment in the best way that modern science knows. They can also manage the forest for many other reasons than to extract wood. There have been mistakes along the way but medicine, as a profession, has similarly made many mistakes in its past and this is true of many professions and yet most professions are not vilified in the same way as foresters have been vilified.
Canadian forestry practices are some of the most advanced in the world. Edmund Zavitz’s work is truly inspirational. In these days when the world is preoccupied with doom and gloom environmental worries, it’s nice to read some positive and encouraging stories about environmental recovery. I applaud you for publishing this article. People need to know about Canadian environmental heroes and get new ideas about how they can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
– Pat Baldwin