History of the term.
During the early to mid 1970's, elm disease was ravaging the northeastern
states. The people wanted something done by the federal government, and
fast. Senators and Congressmen from several states, especially Michigan,
Wisconsin, and Minnesota passed a bill giving a large amount of money to
help ease the spread of the tree disease. The agricultural research service
said that naturally all the funds would come to them because the elm disease
was an urban problem and they dealt with urban plant problems. The U. S.
Forest Service said, not so fast, and said they took care of trees
everywhere, so they should get the funds. A scramble for the funds went on
until the "big" guys stepped in and said why not both. So the urban part
would be for the one group and the forest part for the other group. To this
day, few people not only do not know this story, but even fewer have thought
about the name. We do know that several people tried to define the oxymoron
but it never got settled. Few really cared so long as the money flowed.
The use of it proves the lack of understanding of what of forest is. Forest
are not a group of trees, especially a group of planted trees. Forest are
systems, and you cannot plant a system! Forest are really natural systems
made up of trees, associates and abiotic parts, connected in such highly
ordered ways that so long as energy comes in, all members have equal
opportunities to repeat. YOU CANNOT HAVE AN URBAN FOREST!!!! 33-47
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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