As forestry, arboriculture and lets be honest all land management industries continue to be ignored at best, increasingly usurped, then it is surely time to find a route forward which remains solely in the control of the practitioners.
Europe wide it is the harsh reality, and I have experienced this personally, is that insurance and legal frameworks essential for practitioners (which makes us better than the usurpers) it is virtually impossible for proper collaboration with many NGOs and particularly academic led initiatives, who are NOT insured. Thus it is no surprise to see so many patronising, indeed often insulting, commentary and even guidance fed back to unimpressed practitioners. For example; the call to ensure stock for planting is sourced responsibly! Is this not a given for trained foresters? – as so often the industry is accused of bad practice by those who have committed such practice themselves! It is less of an issue in the UK, where many of the academics are deeply embedded in the industry.
As research into the chains of supply finally get to the point many of us reached a long, long time ago, where it is recognised that publicising the location of the timber, method felled and importantly by whom, we take a great step forward towards the promotion of true sustainable forestry – the principle method in Europe. But how can this be controlled outside the industry?
Many on the periphery of forestry who are social media canny have successfully built up profiles which have enabled the most obscure forest based businesses to rival, financially, timber harvesting at its most profitable.
To post who we are, what we do and – what may sound dangerous to many – why? is an important step towards dispelling any myths anyone (many already have) has about us.
Forestry and Arboricultural are tough professions – advertising our toughness will not gain much attention in a world over flowing with testosterone anyway. We need to highlight our training, our ethics and morals and especially our love of trees – the reason we end up doing what we do.
The more we can cut out the middle man the more respect we gain, the less ‘dubious’ timber is supplied and the more money we make.