Devotion to the future

‘ ‘Sustainable growth’ is a self-contradictory term—an oxymoron. Continued, indefinite growth on this planet or any subset of the planet is a physical impossibility. Eventually, limits of some type (space, food, waste disposal, energy) must be reached; the point at which that will happen is the only aspect open to debate. . . . [Humans must] live on the income from nature’s capital rather than on the capital itself.’   G. Meffe and R. Carroll, Principles of Conservation Biology.

Young, post disturbance forests (checked here) are more suitable for human use than the ancient cedar types, lower right, that dominate today’s timber program.

In 2005, Bob Christensen, Kenyon Fields and I started the Ground-truthing Project—what we called the ‘eyes and ears in the woods for the Southeast conservation community.’ Central to that project was learning  about resilience—what parts of our environment are most and least susceptible to human use.

My engagement in the Ground-truthing Project lasted through 2009. For Bob, however, that was just the beginning. For a taste of what he’s been up to lately, visit his website for the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, promoting resource stewardship, energy independence, food sustainability, economic self-reliance, and storytelling in Hoonah, Hydaburg, Kake, Kasaan and Sitka.

What practitioners have come to call “restoration” is obviously related to these questions of resilience and fragility. Somewhat arbitrarily, I’ve treated these reparation efforts as a subcategory under Culture>Restoration

In November, 2018, Kolene James at UAS selected a semester theme of Resilience in a time of change, and asked if I’d give a naturalist’s perspective on what, for her students, was principally a personal and cultural question. The result was this Evening at Egan presentation.

In this section

Hammered gems & unproductive leftovers.

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

Ground-truthing Project final report, 2005

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

Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní: the natural history of resilience

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

2008 flight over Sitka use area

In September, 2008, I ferried to Sitka to help Sitka Conservation Society host funders and biologists. In a Beaver, we…

2008 | Richard Carstensen | 29 pages

Suitability for logging

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

Focus and breadth: science and natural history in Southeast Alaska

In March, 2015, I gave a banquet presentation to the Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Afterwards, I archived it…

2015 | Richard Carstensen | 31 minutes

Historical aerials of Southeast communities

In 2011, Cathy Pohl and I received a drive with 22,000 scanned air photos taken by the Navy in 1948.…

2011 | Richard Carstensen | 35 minutes

Forest restoration in the Tongass: Why, how, and where

Bob’s summary for The Wilderness Society. Techniques and strategies. Download here (8MB): †

2012 | Bob Christensen | 71 Pages

Juneau’s dairy history: Parts 1 & 2

As Kathy Hocker and I built up Discovery‚’s library of historical photographs, during our Repeat Photography Project in 2004-2005, we…

2012 | Richard Carstensen | 10 min; 25 min