Volume 1, Issue 4 - Fall 2008
Message from the Director
One of the distinct privileges that I enjoy is the occasional opportunity to describe EFETAC and our work to various audiences. During the past year, for example, I gave quite a few presentations that explored “this is who we are and what we do.” Some of those talks also focused on our efforts to understand and combat climate change and its effect on forests—a clear signal of the growing awareness and importance of this issue.
Above: Lee and EFETAC research hydrologist Ge Sun (3rd and 2nd from right) toured forest and stream restoration projects near Chongqing with local officials after the IUFRO conference in China.
While recently in China at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Conference on Landscape Ecology and Forest Management, I had the opportunity to step outside the bounds of my usual responsibilities and examine issues from a broader perspective (see page 6). First, I shared my view of the value of landscape ecology to forest health management. The contribution is substantial in terms of applicable theory and advanced analytical tools arising from the study of landscapes; both are indispensable to understanding and assessing forest threats. A second presentation focused on forest monitoring to support sustainable forest management in the U.S. Forest sustainability is a vital issue throughout the world, and experience gained from the Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis and Forest Health Monitoring programs offers insights applicable to all countries.
My experience as a presenter leaves me with three major impressions. First, the work that we do is relevant and important. Simply put, people care about forests and are concerned about their long-term health and sustainability. It’s easy to justify our efforts when a clear linkage exists to societal goals and concerns. Second, our work covers a broad range of topics connected in ways that leverage their impact. Again, it’s easy to find lots of interesting studies within our program, as witnessed by this and previous issues of Forest ThreatNet. Less obvious, but no less significant is how these seemingly disparate efforts work together to give an integrated perspective on forests and the threats they face. Finally, the work of our scientists and collaborators is of the highest quality. We deliver state-of-the-art knowledge and tools that rival those produced anywhere in the world.
Small wonder that I remain enthused about coming to work each day and talking about the Eastern Forest Threat Center.
Until next time...