A Letter from the Editor

by Paul Donahue

To FEN's loss, Will Sugg has stepped down as editor of The Maine Woods to move on to other projects. We thank him for all his efforts on behalf of FEN and wish him luck with his new projects. He did a wonderful job of editing the paper over the past two and a half years and I hope I can live up to the mark he set.

As the end of the millenium rapidly approaches, all over the globe our natural resources are coming under extreme pressure. The battle to protect our forests from wholesale destruction is not just being fought in Maine, but everywhere on the planet that forests are found, from the boreal forests of Canada and Siberia's taiga, to the tropical rainforests of the equatorial regions, to the temperate forests of southern South America and New Zealand.

To enlighten those who may be unaware of the scope of the battle, in this issue there is some expanded coverage of forest issues elsewhere on the continent. The last word in our name is "network", and there is definitely something to be gained by connecting with forest activists working on similar issues outside of our state. All of the transnational paper companies working in Maine also have operations in other states or other countries, so in many cases these other activists are battling the same enemies we're battling here at home.

As forest ecologists learn more about the functioning of forest ecosystems, they're finding more and more examples of interconnected root systems among trees, and that these interconnected roots aid in warding off enemies and getting through stressful periods. Forest activists around the planet can take a lesson here from the trees. There is more to be gained by working together, than by working in isolation. We can look to groups and individuals working elsewhere for ideas, support, and, perhaps most importantly, inspiration.

The onslaught on our forests is systematic, well-organized, and unrelenting. If, ultimately, we are to succeed in gaining some measure of protection for our invaluable forests and other natural resources, we will have to be equally systematic, organized and unrelenting. As a first step to action, we must be informed on the issues and The Maine Woods is FEN's primary organ for getting important information out to the public. We hope you use the information presented, and that it inspires you to greater action.

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Phone: 207-623-7140
email: fen@powerlink.net

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