In the Register-Guard, AFRC Field Forester Andy Geissler explains that forestry not only supports the economy, it helps meet the basic needs of people everywhere:
The Jan. 12 guest viewpoint headlined “Expanded monument could benefit economy” offers a strange and disturbing perspective on how economic value is placed on certain commodities, and likewise, how Oregon places value on its economy. The context is the expansion of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument in Southwest Oregon.
The authors assert that “the economic value of tourism associated with an expanded monument would vastly exceed the value of timber that could be extracted.”
I believe the flaw in this approach is that it assumes that whichever commodity generates the most economic value is inherently the “best” or most useful commodity.
As a citizen of Oregon and as a consumer, I typically place the highest value on those commodities that I need the most. For example, when I go to the grocery store I purchase items such as milk and bread before I buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer. If I have extra money, I’ll indulge in the wine — but really, it’s a luxury item of sorts. I think this analogy can be applied to the commodities that the authors of the guest viewpoint allude to — namely tourism, recreation and timber. Read more.