Re: TH: US Nat'l Arbor day this coming Friday ...

 Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
At 11:25 PM 4/23/97 -0400, you wrote:
> Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
> -------
> ----------------------------------------------------
> I try to give a big speech on Arbor Day, but I might spare
> you this year.  Otherwise, to clarify some confusion about the
> proposal to start-up a Usenet newsgroup, here are some of the
> particulars.  Even when I try to describe it in simple terms it
> still gets complicated.  That is the 'nature' of the Internet.
> This stuff is bewildering for all of us ...
> The Usenet community has very low tolerance regarding their naming
> conventions for new newsgroups within the important 'Big 8' hierarchies.
> I am trying to establish a world-wide Usenet newsgroup dedicated to
> trees, hopefully with the blessing and support of our Tree-House
> members.  (The Tree-House mailing-list is paid for into summer 1998,
> so there is no reason to assume that we will be going anywhere in
> the next year.)
> We will formally begin applying for this newsgroup next week, in the
> hopes that we can have it on-line by September, for the Urban Forests
> Conference in Atlanta.
> At the moment I am thinking that we should request the descriptor
> sci.environment.trees, and if that shows any signs of not passing
> then we can resubmit as sci.environment.forests.  Hope we can come
> to some agreement on this.
> Richard@Flora.Com

        Kudos to you Richard for having audience with the Usenet naming
court and seeking a newsgroup for those interested in community trees and

        I can rally behind the designator 'sci.environment.trees'. No doubt
the term 'trees' will lure many to check out the newsgroup. However, I hope
you don't mind if I make one last pitch for 'sci.environment.forests', which
I see is your backup.

        I advocate 'forests' because, by definition, forest is the
fundamental (i.e. most simple) unit by which trees can be managed in a
sustainable environmental sense.  This point is not high brow. It is
fundamental. Those who truly love and are interested in trees MUST bring
'forests' into their vocabulary. It really is a simple concept that we all
(must) understand: community forests = trees + soil + air + birds +
wildflowers + people + water + mushrooms + open space , etc..

        The cliche does contain profound wisdom: "Can't see the forests for
the trees." If there is a popular bias towards 'trees', that is evidence
that we are missing an important point and it is proof enough that it
behooves us to popularize 'forests'. Naming this new Usenet newsgroup
'sci.environment.forests' rather than 'sci.environment.trees' gets us off on
the right foot. It alludes to a forum that is the right balance of layperson
and professional content. The layperson is challenged to sophisticate
her/his self adequately; the professional will not be as likely to dismiss
the newsgroup as over-simplistic.
Are there others who support my contention?  

        In spite of all this polemicizing, I will not begrudge adoption of
'sci.environment.trees' if that is what happens.  I really do appreciate the
effort, good intentions and progress being made here! 


Shaub Dunkley
2608 University Dr.
Durham NC 27707