Palo Alto welcomes new urban forester Walter Passmore
Original post made
on Jul 22, 2012
Nine weeks into his new position as Palo Alto's first city urban forester, Walter Passmore eschewed a stuffy City Hall office interview and instead chose his number-one place to hang out: amid the trees.
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posted Sunday, July 22, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Posted by Forester
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 am
The criticism above is quite telling of your typical, ignorant, desk-bound machine.
Why don't you consider what our society as a whole has built itself upon; or even for that matter, what the basic human needs are?
Forests. Trees. And the innumerable values associated with them. Forests have supported human existence since the beginning. Man has looked to forests for food, clean water, shelter, protection, recreation, and ultimately happiness. Native Americans found a spiritual way of life in forests, and looked to them as a resource for life. Our forefathers built a society using forest resources; and visionaries like John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Aldo Leopold helped us continue to build our society while sustaining the resource. Do you think you would be in this exact position without conservation and protection of forest resources? No.
Urban forests are no different. Amongst a impermeable surface with storm drains, refuse, toxic and soluble air particulates, urban forests are the only surfaces that support our global cycles.
Get your priorities straight. You exist on Earth, on land that supports human life. The land owns you. You benefit from everything that forests provide. Where does the water in your water cooler come from? Have you had an Orange or Almond or Apple or Walnut lately? Do you hunt, fish, hike, trap, gather, grow, climb, or gaze at things other than concrete and steel? And do you realize that the values you are provided are not solitary in their existence?
Forest soils store the majority of our fresh water resource. They are the main proponents of our carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen cycles. Do you drink low-pH, turbid, warm water? Did you know that trees transpire water, release it to the atmosphere in the form of vapor, which drives the global the hydrologic cycle?
Have you heard of erosion? Did you know that a soil can be 10 times more erodible without a forest canopy above?
How does a berry bush grow bountiful fruit each year? Pollinators. Bees, birds, even small mammals can pollinate. And for an example more obvious to the ignorant, what is your house built of? We weren't blessed after the big bang with local lumberyards.
Your taxes pay for government programs, some of which are absolutely essential. Taxes are essential, and we as Americans understand that. But have some perspective. Remember where you came from, and how your father, grandfather, great-grandfather and so-on got you here.
Foresters manage trees, stands, forests, and ecosystems, and the millions of organisms within them. Have you heard of Chestnut Blight, Dutch Elm Disease, Blister Rust, Mountain Pine Beetles, or the Gypsy Moth? How about acid rain? Ozone? Wildfire?
Forests must be managed by someone with knowledge of the disciplines of Biology, Ecology, Dendrology, Geology and Soils, Hydrology, Chemistry, Entomology, Pathology, Economics, Sociology, and Zoology, to name a few.
What does it take to manage notes of monetary value? For that matter, what is money? Would you really rather pay someone $107,000 to argue "law" in a courtroom, a politician to argue "policy" amongst his constituents, an athlete, a pencil-pusher? Maybe, because these values are important on the surface of your life. I'd rather pay someone who manages land, something that undoubtedly fosters your existence and benefits you on a much deeper level.