Quotes from "Musings"

I have long been a fan of John Bartley. A northern New Mexico landowner, John runs the family sawmill, and lives on a forest that has been managed for generations by his family. I often quote John who told me this story:
    A famous actor had bought property adjacent to his, and that property was dense with trees from a century of fire exclusion and no forest management. Next door, John's property was beautiful, open forests dominated by large trees. The famous actor wanted John to "treat" his forest, to make it look like John's...but John explained that it had taken over 80 years of care and nuturing to have such a forest. The neighbor hired someone else to come in and thin and chip his forest in one treatment. So many trees were cut, the chips were so thick, the result so "unlike" John's forest, the neighbor sold the property and moved away.
I love this story because of the lesson that forest stewardship is a commitment for the long-term. There are no instant, overnight fixes in forest management. I also love to hang around John Bartley, because he has so much knowledge about the woods. I received a letter from John, who had clearly enjoyed the book, and he included a list of quotes from the book that really spoke to him. Here is that set of quotes. Thank you John!
"The impact of our society on our forests is immense, as is the impact of our forests on our society." p. 55
"When logging is approached with silvicultural objectives, what can be a destructive force becomes a creative force. Silviculture is the art and science of harvesting trees to develop future healthy forests." p. 60
"However, applying logging as a tool for improving forest health takes humility--a willingness to be particularly observant of the results, to admit mistakes, and to adjust future actions based on these lessons. Each time a forest is logged, there is opportunity to make the forest an overall healthier ecosystem." p. 87
"Forest management is both an art and a science that demands every bit of experience, every minor observation, and every thoughtful insight to each action we take on the ground." p. 89
"There are so many lessons to learn here. One of the obvious observations is the pattern of burn severity. Where the forest had been recently treated by timber sales, thinning projects, and/or prescribed burns, the fire intensity was less severe. There are still green trees and the soil is not washing off the hillslopes. These are acres I do not lose sleep over. These are acres where the fire indeed seems to be a natural force in harmony with the landscape. If there was any doubt about the value of forest management in reducing the catastrophic fire effects, the Rodeo-Chediski burn lays those concerns to rest." p. 113
"In the early morning hours on the burn, as the day's first ray of light caress the hills and leave each subtle swale in shadow, I am enamored with this landscape. Mother Nature is exposed, stripped of her usual cloak of forest cloth, to reveal each limestone outcrop, each dip, each rise, every curve, every scar...like an erotic lover posing for the artist. I steal embarrassed glances and marvel at my opportunity to love this land." p. 134
"There is a story in every stump, told from the holding wood, the face cut, and the back cut. The stump tells of experience, knowledge, care and skill." p. 163
"Mother Nature tells us what to do; it is our job to read the landscape and respond accordingly." p. 168.
"Like the landscape, our future is a matter of perception and how one chooses to view it." p. 169
"When a fire burns outside the range of normal variability, when the fuel conditions are misconstrued by a century of fire exclusion, the damage on the landscape redefines the concept of disturbance ecology. This branch of science studies the response of ecosystems to infrequent, large-scale activities such as floods, fires, and hurricanes repeated through millenia and influencing evolutional development of species and communities. The scale and scope of mega-fires exceed evolutional boundaries." 172
"In northern New Mexico on the eastern flank of the south end of the Rocky Mountains, there is paradise."  p. 202 (referring to Philmont Scout Ranch, and surrounding area)
"For me, opportunity is claimed by an individual, privilege is granted to an individual, and respect is a two-way street that flows from the heart." p. 231
"The responsibility for opportunity lies in self-motivation." p. 231
"Privilege is not something that you claim, as much as it is something that is given to you. Privileges can be abused. It is our personal responsibility to be aware of those privileges wer are given, and honor them." p. 233 
"Respect comes from the heart. Respect is a love affair- of other people, of places, of concepts, of cultures, of processes. When we respect something, we honor it. We cherish it. We value it. We love it." p. 235
Thank you John, for gathering these quotes out of the book and sharing them with me, and now with others.