Responsible Earth

How we can help

We at Responsible Earth focus on three main factors when exploring forest sustainability: silviculture, restoration, and conservation.

 Silviculture

    As defined by the Forest Service,             "Silviculture is the art and science of         controlling the establishment, growth,     composition, health, and quality of             forests and woodlands to meet the         diverse needs and values of                       landowners and society on a                     sustainable basis."

    RE adopts the silviculturist mindset by     approaching areas to be managed         with the health of the forest as the         main concern. We clear woody                 underbrush from the base of mature         trees to prevent them from being             choked out. Furthermore, fallen               beetle-killed trees are removed to             open the forest floor for animals such     as elk and moose; removal of these         trees improves safety in heavily                 frequented areas, such as ski resorts.     Trees still standing are left as homes     for birds, insects, and other animals.

    Some current practices for forest management fail to look at the big picture; an             approach with the ecosystem in mind is needed for successful mitigation. We need     to observe how and why plants and trees pattern themselves in nature, the                     biodiversity of the forest and how sensitive it is, the structure of the soil, as well         as many other factors necessary for successful management.

    RE intends to improve relationships between stewards and consumers of the land.         Responsible stewardship involves taking products that would normally be                         discarded and turning them into useful products for consumers. Our pinyon pine         model is already in the works, increasing exposure and lending services to forestry         contractors and local wood processing facilities.

 Restoration

    Our job as stewards of the earth is to     care for and ensure the success of     forests so future generations can         receive ecosystem services needed     to survive. The ability of unmanaged     Utah forests to provide those                 services is decreasing with more         severe drought conditions, repeated     fire suppression, and beetle                    infestations.

    The image to the right shows a             managed forest and the difference         thinning can make in the event of a         fire. Mother Nature has designed her     ecosystems to thrive when cared         for by humans.


    Our restoration work in forested             landscapes focuses to enhance the     environment, economy, and                 community. The implementation of         integrated approaches in these areas     also enhance the market value of forest ecosystem services. Responsible Earth             seeks an active role in projects that promote vibrant forest-based communities by         focusing on the following:

Environment: Employing sustainable forest management, conservation, and ecological restoration

Economy: Developing and encouraging enterprise-based sustainable economic activities

Community: Using innovative social and locally-based business processes to meet environmental and economic sustainability goals

Forest Ecosystem Services: Using innovative business and policy models to better establish prices and markets for ecosystem services
   
While there is debate on whether beetle-killed trees should be removed from the forest, it is important to look at the pros and cons of the operation:

        Pros:                                                               Cons:
        - Renewable energy source                           - Standard methods for utilizing                 - Clears forest floor for new growth                  biomass energy release carbon                 - Decreases fire hazard and severity               and other byproducts back into air
        - Increases open space for animals               - Harvest and transport use energy          - Biomass can be used for building                - Expensive to process a low-value             - Widely available and abundant                       product
        - Biomass can be used for building                - Fallen trees provide nutrients and
           or creating Biochar--both sequester              homes for small animals/insects
           carbon rather than release it
   
    Responsible Earth works to positively impact the services and tools for the                     agricultural environment. Various restoration experiments are being implemented         throughout the Intermountain Region with positive results. We are thankful for the         diverse support from applied science and technologies programs partnering with RE     in order to invent revolutionary solutions to forestry restoration applications.

    Triple Pundit has an excellent list of various energy sources and their pros and               cons. The important thing to remember is forests currently need to be restored. In         2009, Deborah Page-Dumroese estimated some 73 million acres of land had an         unnatural amount of excess woody biomass. Forests must be managed in order to       ensure their health and success, so we may as well utilize the "waste."

    Check out Deborah's paper on biomass utilization:
   
Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil     productivity, and sequester carbon

Conservation

  Continuing education for conservancy is needed to push forward with any                       conservation practices. The preservation of resources is detrimental to the survival       of humanity as we know it; this value must be stressed to ensure the success of             future generations. A learning community is arising from Responsible Earth and               other global neighbors driven by the need to bring hope in a time of crisis. Our               proposals aim to include accurate forest ecosystem costs and values in the consumer    market in order to improve ecosystem benefits and halt their degradation.
 

We literally cannot live without forests. How would we build our shelters, or even breathe? Forested ecosystems are essential for carbon sequestration, nutrient regeneration, and water cycles. Forests sustain life, but not if we continue to clear cut and degrade them. The more we destroy, the less we have--oxygen, timber, renewable energy, all decrease with fewer forests. Yet, we've already lost almost half of them. So, what can we do to conserve the trees we have left?


gillab.byu.edu


Responsible Earth is fighting for humanity through these

    conservation methods:
    - Protect forests by supplying woody biomass as an alternative to clear-cut timber
    - Employ responsible and sustainable harvesting methods
    - Education! "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change           the world." - Nelson Mandela
    - Partnerships with environmentally friendly organizations for greater impact
    - Reduce, reuse, and recycle!
    - Support local business to reduce the need for transported goods
    - Regular monitoring of recently restored forests to ensure their success
    - Diversity of services surpassing those known to current industry practices
    - Supports sustainable utilization of excess biomass from responsible sources                     (harvested without damaging the source)
    - Implementation of proprietary technology and re-engineering the key principles that         affect efficiencies of sustainability practices
    - Return land to sustainable conditions with minimal impacts and costs
  

  These are only a few ways you can conserve. Every decision you make can have           unforeseen consequences. Here are more ways you can live more sustainably:
       
What You Can Do - Tips for Protecting and Improving the Planet
       
How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
       
How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle