National Geographic : 1997 Mar
Scarred by decades of high-yield logging and menaced by insects, air pollu tion, and heavy use, many of the country's 155 national forests stand in sore need of healing. The prescription? "Walk softly and carry a little bitty chain saw," urges Arkansas conservationist Jerry Williams. (dCi~i Atlantic Ocean KANSAS OKLAHOMA TEXAS 'Lake Ok(echobee Clear-cut in 1989 and planted in pine, a tree farm sprouts in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. Branded as "cornfield forestry" by opponents, the practice maximizes wood production at the expense of biodiversity. "Many in the Forest Service believe their job is to put the forest to work," asserts a critic. "They think a forest that you can't cut down and sell is useless."