Soil & 
Politics of 
Tree Crops & 
Papers & Essays

Papers and Essays

After seven years of practicing forestry, I had many questions for which I couldn't find ready answers in the text books or research papers.  So when the recession of 1981-82 hit, I went back to school to look for answers to these questions.  The Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) program in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University was specifically designed for people like me.  Also, there was the Cornell Tree Crops Research Project, an interdisciplinary project focusing on a subject that interested me very much. 

Several of the papers in this section were done for independent study projects at Cornell.  The Soil Suitability paper looks at which tree species will do best on which soils.  The Water Quality paper looks at the effects of vegetation removal on water quality.  The Indian Agroforestry paper looks at how the Indians managed the forests near their settlements.  This isn't PhD material by any means, just basic applied forestry.

The Northern Tree Crops paper and manual grew out of my thesis at Cornell, which looked at the biological and economic viability of tree crops in the Northeast plus several years of practical experience in growing tree crops here in western Massachusetts.  A couple other papers published in the Annual Reports of the Northern Nut Growers also grew out of that experience.  The papers on Economics and forest investment analysis were written after finishing my studies at Cornell, and grew out of clients' questions about potential returns from forest investments.

Molly Hale is a wildlife biologist.  Her Wildlife Habitat Database grew out of questions we both have had for years about which species are likely to be associated with which habitat features.  What are you likely to find around a big ledge or a big stream?  How about a recently abandoned pasture or a small clearcut?  We also have an interest in knowing more about how to manage forests to create or encourage certain habitats and their associated wildlife.

Other essays on Forest Aesthetics were written by two former associates, and focus on a topic of concern to many landowners.  The Memos section addresses other concerns of landowner-clients.  The Politics of Forestry section has grown over the past year in response to my growing awareness of how political the practice and science of forestry really are.  Our forests are very valuable resources; this fact leads to many political consequences.

Why all this writing?  My undergraduate degree was in literature from Kenyon College.  This is a college that hammers into all of its students the importance of being able to write well.  I don't know if I learned how to do that, but I suppose I did at least learn the importance of trying.  Also, I'd rather dictate things than listen to the radio while driving to and from job sites.

Copyright 1999 by Karl Davies.  Permission is granted to freely copy (unmodified) any documents on this web site in electronic form, or in print if you're not selling them.  On the web, however, you must link to the documents here rather than put up your own pages.