The very model of a modern collaboration

  On behalf of the Forest Guild, a national association of professional foresters with deep roots in community forestry, I would like to comment on Peter Friederici’s article "Peace Breaks Out in New Mexico’s Forests" (HCN, 10/30/06). The Forest Guild was one of the collaborators on the Rowe Mesa Collaborative Forest Restoration Project (CFRP) referred to in the article. A quote in the article by a local individual maligns the outcome of the project.

In fact, the Rowe Mesa project is a model of a science-based collaboration that thinned the small, young trees that choked the understory, protected large trees and soils, and closed roads on a 300-acre ponderosa pine stand. The Rowe Mesa restoration is one of the few CFRP grants that has restored low-intensity surface fires to the site — a key component of ecosystem restoration. Scientific monitoring of the site shows that the forest is now closer to its historical character and less at risk from severe fire. In addition, Rowe Mesa continues to support fuelwood collection on which the local community depends. More information is available at www.forestguild.org/RoweMesa.html.

Alexander Evans
Forest Guild, Research Director
Santa Fe, New Mexico