Among the lively responses to my last post, “Minnesota’s forestry hedgehog” was a comment from Terry Weber. Terry wonders why the Foundation even asks about the meaning of forest productivity, reminding us that the Minnesota Forest Resources Partnership (MFRP) has developed a clear definition: “Improving the quality, quantity and availability of wood fiber in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Clearwater County Land Commissioner Bruce Cox chimed in to clarify that MFRP’s definition concerns timber productivity. Indeed, the Vital Forests/Vital Communities Seeing the Forest AND the Trees project is intent on looking at productivity through the lens of all three forest “benefit baskets” – social, ecological and economic.

Based on lots of good input, including from blog readers, we have revised the Scandinavian tour’s key learning objective. Instead of “maximizing growth/yield” we will focus on “increasing the quality and value of forests and the products that come from the land in Minnesota and other Lake States.”

Do you think that, as Harvey Tjader suggested in his blog comment, the secret formula to getting to this Holy Grail might be managing for diversity, in the forest and the industry itself?

Do you think it’s possible to do both in Minnesota? And why or why not?