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Seeing the Forest Among the Trees

From the Panorama to the Patch: How do People Fit?

Renowned forest ecologist, Herb Hammond, kicked off the Summer 2013 Highland Wonders series with a unique perspective on Okanogan Highlands ecology. “Seeing the Forest Among the Trees,” featured a Friday evening presentation with a Saturday outdoor field trip the following day. This two-part approach provided the best of both venues for maximum learning and enjoyment.

Herb discussed the composition, structure and function of our local forest ecosystems, making spatial connections between the greater landscape and the close-up patch of land, as well as temporal connections about how forest ecosystems function through time.

Herb introduced Ecosystem-Based Conservation Planning (EBCP) as a way of thinking about and relating to the forest as a dynamic system, creating solutions that go beyond the old ways of industrialized forestry, fostering roles for people as a respectful part of a holistic approach. EBCP is necessary if concepts like sustainable resource management are to be other than advertising slogans. “Ecosystem-Based Conservation Planning has relevance in our day-to-day lives as well as in plans for major land use activities,” Herb says. “Facilitating diverse community-based economies is an important part of an ecosystem-based conservation plan.”

The field trip took place near the Highlands Sno-Park, near the town of Havillah. This educational event conveyed how changes in temperature and moisture affect forests, and explained how the ecosystem-based approach to planning can also help mitigate the stresses and impacts of changes in the climate. A broad perspective was shared on forest diversity and ecology, and how various human land uses are supported by ecosystems.

About Herb Hammond

Herb Hammond is a Registered Professional Forester and forest ecologist with 35 years experience in research, industry, teaching and consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Science in forest management from OSU and a Masters of Forestry from UW. Hammond is well known for his development and application of ecosystem-based conservation planning, which he defines as the protection and ecologically responsible use of ecosystems through all scales of time and space. He has worked for many years with First Nations and other rural communities to develop ecosystem-based conservation plans. In 2003, Herb received the Gold Award for Sustainable Living at the Canadian Environmental Awards. Hammond delivers keynote speeches, slide presentations, and workshops throughout North America and around the world.  He is the author of the award-winning book Seeing the Forest Among the Trees: The Case for Wholistic Forest Use (Polestar Press) and co-author of Community Guide to the Forest.  Hammond writes extensively for scientific publications and the popular press.  His most recent book, Maintaining Whole Systems on Earth’s Crown:  Ecosystem-based Conservation Planning for the Boreal Forest was released in March, 2009.

ecosystems, education, events, field trip, forest, highland wonders, hiking, trees

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