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U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester are explaining proposed legislation with the phrase “Either we manage the forests or the forests will manage us.”

This leads me to consider how we want things to be black or white, right or wrong, this or that. But when we go this route, are we hoping that forests are simpler than they actually are?

Suppose the resilience of our forests is more complex and full of inter-relationships, where subtle vectors and influences are at play. Is it helpful to act based on a model that doesn’t reflect reality?

Perhaps a wiser relationship with forests and forest management is possible.

Marianne Spitzform,

Missoula

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