Madison, Wisconsin's Monona Terrace saw "Crisis or Opportunity? Sustaining and Strengthening Forest-Based Industries in the Great Lakes Region" conference come to town last week, put on by the Great Lakes Forest Alliance.
Representatives from varying organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, Plum Creek Timber Company and others all had parts. I had the privilege of observing some of the speakers during the second and main day of the event. Topics covered included discussions on the transportation of local lumber and products, forest owners and the role of their offspring in sustaining the forestry industry, and the need to adapt to more sustainable business models in order to keep a healthy U.S. and Canadian foresting industry. The overall tone of the conference recognized that the industry, as are many, is in a time of rapid change and transition, and that this could mean things can go two ways...
Though people of different backgrounds offered differing opinions on how to make it through this tumultuous time, complicated by the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer and its destructive nature, the overall agreement from varying organizations was that wood needs to be harvested in ways that is good for the future harvests.
"Its not what you take, it's what you leave behind"was something mentioned by a few folks.
Conference goers listen attentively to speaker Mark Holsten of the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
The beautiful Lake Monona as seen from the Terrace
Conference attendees take a break between speakers to review posted literature from varying organizations
Catherine M. Mater - President - Mater Engineering, Ltd., a forest productions engineering firm, Corvallis, Oregon; Senior Fellow - The Pinchot Institute for Conservation answers questions during the conference.
Earth friendly products
Stay tuned for another update next week from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and my visit with the folks of Wisconsin Family Forests.