In 2008, Bob Christensen and I were 3 years into the Ground-truthing Project. During those 3 years, the Forest Service…2008 | Carstensen & Christensen | 30 pages
The older I get, the more I think about the importance of mean and maximum species age. How does age of a community’s members relate to the other great conceptual underpinnings of Ecology 101: trophics, succession, landscape ecology, resilience and productivity? How does understanding of species longevity inform sustainable lifeways?
In the 3rd edition of The Nature of Southeast Alaska, I added a sidebar called Harvesting longevity, about often-overlooked antiquities. Here’s the first and last paragraph from that cross-taxon tour through mollusks, groundfish, trees, and deer:
‘Whether studying clams, fish, deer or trees, northern researchers and naturalists frequently learn that life-span data from southern climes are inapplicable here. Underestimating longevity has serious consequences, especially for wild flora and fauna treated as commercial, sport, or subsistence species. . .
. . . ‘Harvest’—a term borrowed from agriculture—is of dubious merit when applied to seas or forests where cycles of birth-to-death are less visible, less understood, and less amenable to control. The consequence of overharvest is quickly obvious to a farmer, who sinks or swims financially on personally owned land. But when ‘harvesting’ wild ‘resources’ from public lands and waters, it’s harder to assign blame, or to instill restraint. For some managers and harvesters, exhaustion of one species is simply a cue to move on to another one, perhaps equally ill-suited to commercial or even casual extraction. This frontier mentality is a bull in the china shop of long-lived species.’
In this section
The Ground-truthing Project, sponsored by Sitka Conservation Society, ran from 2005 to 2010. Kenyon Fields at SCS administered the program,…2005 | Carstensen & Christensen | 63 pages
Presentation for Evening at Egan On November 9th, 2018, I gave the second in a series of 4 lectures for…Nov, 2018 | Richard Carstensen | 36 minutes
In 2009, after several years of cruising the Tongass timberlands under the auspices of Sitka Conservation Society, I wrote them…2009 | Richard Carstensen | 19 pages