Dauerwald – near natural forests & land ethics

I have been studying various approaches to land ethics more intensely in recent years and have come much more to respect tribal points of view. This is plural points of view – since there is not one but many.

What they tend so share, in my limited experience, is people living in harmony with nature and the land. This is distinct from what I have come to learn about a preservationist ideal, which often seeks to separate humans from nature. Some of our concepts of wilderness exclude human influences, no matter how harmonious. I think this is an error.

One guy I talked to made a profoundly simple statement. He said that we should tread lightly and harmoniously in nature, but that implies that we DO tread and include humans.

There are many traditions for living in and with nature. I doubt we can come to a once-and-for-all ideal. For example, I only recently learned about the German tradition of dauerwald, and I only learned about it because someone said that “my” forest management resembled that. My research found many similarities. I never recalled learning about this specifically, but I did grow up with Aldo Leopold, whose parents were German and who must have been familiar with the concept and in the long game idea, one of the sources I found on the topic was a webinar hosted by Han Schabel. I had not thought of that name for years, but it seemed familiar and it was. He was my forestry professor at UWSP way back in 1973.

Anyway, I signed up for this webinar. I have done others and always been satisfied. The more I think about land ethics and our/my place is a dynamic environment, the more confused I get but also I get more a feeling of connection and joy is the word I would have to use. It is a very deep joy in the world. Maybe the less I know I know, the more I understand. Who knows?

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