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February 15, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION

ePiage 4
SNR review:

Tuesday, February 15, 1983
Cutting a

The Michigan Da y
r:

world lead

By Bradley R. Cross
Much local attention has focused lately on the
drastic budget reductions proposed for the
Tniversity's School of Natural Resources
(SNR). It is important, at this point, to focus
j o on the bigger problems which are oc-
rring across the globe and the role that SNR
Gays in solving these problems.
,..Natural resources have been in the minds of
thers as well; recent global level reports by
Bch groups as the U.S. State Department, the
wrld Bank, and the Willy Brandt Commission,
eve analyzed the future of the earth through
pis decade and into the 21st century. These
,ports have independently reached similar
pnclusions about global trends and negative
4pact of population growth, spread of deserts,
eduction of tropical forests, and the dumping
Of toxic pollutants, to name a few.
,RECENT REPORTS show that these
vinous worldwide trends are due to poor
man management of the resource based
43sues, not the inherent limitations of the
osphere. These trends, many of which have
" eversible consequences, show us that we, as
-r1anagers of the planet, are not performing in a
*atisfactory, sustainable manner.
n All of these trends began as local or national
%oblems, but as the globe grew smaller they
:came global concerns. They are facets of a
- re comprehensive definition of national
curity that is beyond the traditional military
;ope and which calls for an expansion of the
"mtional security debate to include natural
-'esource issues.
In tackling these complex, interdependent
problems that are global in nature but
:olveable at the local level, the traditional
Osciplinary focus has not proven successful.
The need is for an integrative approach, en-
compassing several desciplines each ap-
plicable to the issue at hand.
=IT IS THIS new integrative approach to
problem solving that has given SNR its unique

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(BPC) recommend a drastic 33% slash, in ef-
fect killing the integrative approach by going
backwards in time to disorganize the best
school of natural resources in the nation? And
why would they do it at a time when the world
faces chaos and disaster in the near future
unless the human management of critical
natural resource issues, among others, is
significantly improved? The perilous trends
are there, moving right along, but they don't
have to continue; it is still possible to change
them through concerted appropriate in-
tegrated management. But the University
seems intent on giving up one of the best
schools in the field.
Why does the University recommend taking
funding from areas of proven expertise to
redirect monies into new fields of higher risk?
The Michigan Occupational Information Coor-
dinating Committee released a study January
13 that found robotics would displace 13,500 to
24,000 jobs in Michigan by 1990 and that, depen-
ding on sales and market share of the robot in-
dustry, only 5,000 and 18,000 new jobs could be
created. It also stated that current perceptions
of both the robot population and robotics em-
ployment are vastly exaggerated.
LOOKING AT renewable, sustainable
natural resources, Michigan is 50 percent
forested and has been identified in recent study
as the most cost-effective geographic location
in the nation to build new pulp and paper
capacity. Another study concluded that there
exists the capacity to create 50,000 new jobs in
Michigan's forest-based industries over the
next several decades. These statistics suggest
the potential for the forest products industry to
surpass agriculture and tourism and become
the second most important industry in the
state, provided appropriate investments are
made in the public and private sector.

The BPC's action seems to be fundamentagy
a political decision rather than an academic or
technically-based one. Maybe the reviewers 4
feel that managing toxic wastes and water
resources, and building Michigan's forestry
potential are expendable goals. I maintain
they are crucial to Michigans sustained
economic recovery. The decision-makers do
not seem to understand the importance of
natural resource management in today's
world.
A former U. S. diplomat, Thomas Wilson,
commenting on some of the causes behind the
trends in the global reports previously men-
tioned said: "Almost all government ihb
stitutions have been designed, mandated, arId
organized in keeping with academic
disciplines, specialized professions, economic
sectors or technical functions-equipped, that
is, to work on one problem at a time when the
need today is not to isolate but to integrate con-
cepts, policies, and programs of action. More
over, governmental decision-making
machinery is generally hierarchial in structure
when the need now is not vertical centralization
but horizontal organization of the full resources
of governance for the management of natural
and man-made systems."
I propose that in addition to the University
reorienting its money into its higher priorities
by reviewing and slashing, it should review its
own vertical hierarchy and examine whether it
is preparing itself and its graduates to function
in the integrative, problem solving arena, what
ever the field. If this were done, I believe SNR
would be a candidate for higher-priority money
rather than the recipient of poorly designed
and miserably justified budget slashes.
Cross, an SNR graduate, is a natural
resource management consultant.

status in the state, nation, and world. SNR is
the recognized leader in developing techniques
to achieve success in this vitally important, but
only recently recognized field of integrative
natural resource management.
The University has the oldest undergraduate
forestry program in the nation, was the first in
the nation to expand into an interdisciplinary
school of natural resources from one of
traditional forestry some 30 years ago, and
today is the most integrative in the nation.
Charles Harris, chairman of Harvard's lan-
dscape architecture department, who served
on the SNR external review performed in 1970
and has since monitored SNR closely, declared
in 1982, "Since 1950 when it became the
world's first school of natural resources, I
believe SNR has sought and achieved a unique
combination of educational, research, and ser-
vice activities that does not exist in any other

school in the world. This includes comparisons
with Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, as well as many
other equally well known institutions, none of
whom have anything remotely parallel with
what has been brought together within The
University of Michigan and SNR."
This combination has not come about at the
expense of forestry, where UM ranks number
two nationally in the latest Gorman Report.
(MSU is 19th). Unfortunately for SNR, there is
no official ranking of natural resource schools
in the nation.
AT THE RECENT World Congress on
National Parks, held every ten years and co-
chaired by SNR Prof. Kenton Miller, 41% of the
world's leading and most influential natural
resource managers were either graduates of
SNR or had participated in SNR postgraduate
training programs.
Why does the Budget Priorities Committee

Edited and mnanaged by students at The University of Michigan

Sinclair

4

2 Vol. XCIII, No- Ji2.

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Pay raise symbolism

14

WITH THE STATE budget deficit
approaching $900 million and
state aided institutions cowering under
the budget cutting axe, the pay hike
slated for state officials is an outrage.
The pay-scale for top state officials is
already among the highest in the nation.
The governor's salary is currently
$70,000 and each legislator earns
$31,000 a year. Next year those salaries
will go up automatically by $8,000 and
$2,200 respectively with no roll call in
the legislature, thus letting legislators
avoid having to answer to the public.
Every year, the U.S. Congress goes
through the controversial and drawn
out decision of whether to vote itself a
pay-raise. But several years ago,
Michigan legislators, wary of putting
themselves on the publiic record,
stealthily created a separate com-
mission to set its salaries.
That commission, whose salaries are
also presumably paid by the state,
voted the pay raise for 1984. The
legislature did have a chance, by a
two-thirds vote, to rescind the action

by Feb. 1. But as is common practice,
legislators decided if they just ignored
the issue, it would go away.
It didn't. The deadline passed, and
many taxpayers rightfully are finding
Governor Blanchard's proposal for a
38 percent income tax hike difficult to
swallow in light of the pay increase.
While the amount the officials will
receive would total less than half a
million dollars a small fraction of
budget cuts or the deficit - the sym-
bolism of the increase and subsequent
inaction in the legislature smacks of
arrogance at a time when all citizens
and institutions of the state are being
asked to sacrifice "for the good of the
state."
A dozen legislators have again
brought the issue before the
legislature and the governor for recon-
sideration. This time the vote will be on
the record so all citizens can determine
if the officials are willing to make the
same sacrifices they expect from their
constituents.

I4

PI
iTTERS TO THE DAILY:
Daily opinion condescends to Israel

LE3

ri
i ,, " ,c.
r
uv
< f " r

To the Daily:
Your evaluation of the Israeli
Committee of Inquiry into the
Beirut Massacre (Daily, Feb. 10)
stresses a very misguided notion.
You feel that the main reason
Israel went to such lengths to
locate sources of indirect in-

volvement was to "heal Israel's
wounds" and "show the world
that they, too, are capable of
maintaining principle's of the
civilized world."
If Israel were part of what the
Daily considers the "civilized
world" there probably would
never have been any Committee

of Inquiry at all. Perhaps the
Daily would inform us of any U.S.
chief of staff who has been
chastised for his lack of foresight
when the atrocities of the Viet-
nam war surfaces. Was the U.S.
government any less responsible
for its "police action?"
The Committee of Inquiry was
established to maintain the
highest degree of military justice
and integrity in the world, a stan-
dard which Israel has practiced
since its origin. Israel need not
answer to the hypocritical out-

cries of the Daily's "civilized
world". No other nation on the
face of the earth demands the
high ethical standards of its
leaders which the people of Israel
do.
The Daily's condescending ap-
proach towards Israel's Commit-
tee of Inquiry is indeed ludicrous
when one considers it could not beE
accomplished anywhere else.
-J. Michael Jaffe
February 10

Nonviolent resistance best

I--i

To the Daily:
"When must humanitarians
support (monetarily) the use of
violence" against Third World
governments? A.M. Babu asks
(Daily. Feb.12). His answer is

revolution applied as well to
colonialist India in 1947 as they do
to other Third World countries
today. The leadership of Mohan-
das Ghandi proved that there are
nonviolent alternatives to violent
revolution, that can equally ac-
n..rli alOi Ana _f

T iz-r.-w-ori ,rlitn-rialc ,nrnrincr ,ntlhe laft cideonf

4

I

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