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PLATFORM : Balanced Forestry

January 22, 1992|JERRY PARTAIN | JERRY PARTAIN, a consultant on lumbering and forestry, was director of the California Department of Forestry from 1983-89. His memo to a Louisiana Pacific official, objecting to the company's rate of tree-cutting, recently made news, but Partain says that the memo does not mean he's an ally of the environmental groups against the lumber companies. He told The Times: and

It is unwarranted, unfair and inaccurate to paint all lumber companies and forest landowners with the same brush.

The extreme demands for timber by some top managers cannot be met. But neither can we accept the hysterical claim that our trees and forests are just about gone. We need wood products for a growing population and we need to protect the environment. If we focus timber-growing on our best sites, with long-range goals in mind, then allow the professionals to do their jobs, we can create a stable atmosphere that will allow us to produce more and continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

We should establish clear and realistic environmental goals for our forests, but then the professionals should be allowed to manage. They should be judged on results, and the penalties for failure should be severe.

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