The following discussion was finally allowed to be included as a comment on the ThriveMovement Discussion of Febuary 2017.
This post by Foster Gamble is very inclusive and is a period piece of insight on the developments that are happening at this point in history. There is much work that needs to be done but Foster is to be congratulated for his ability to bring many things together in a cohesive paper.
You raise many interesting issues. I manage forests for individual owners. We work with models of their forests to help understand what is happening and how various treatments may affect the quality and output of the future forest. These models are built on individual tree characteristics and the manager's understanding what each tree group is able to do within the proposed scenario. So the forest is what you see from far away but it is definitely made up of trees that grow and die as a result of conditions and neighbors. The debt based currency creation system has materially damaged the capability of small landowners (<1000 acres per tract) to engage in long term proactive maintenance activities.
We try to help these owners sell their timber to small local harvesters. However, most of these entrepreneurs (loggers) have to work so hard and are so pressed financially by the "mining" mentality of our society that they can not afford to or are unable to keep a family??? Those that have invested (and appear to be successful) in a large spread of equipment are in debt over their head.
So while they appear to be making a living, the equipment costs so much to move that they must have a lot of value to cut before they can accept a job.
So it is unlikely that they will ever return to the same site where they once worked. The equipment is becoming so complicated that they can not repair it themselves and must trade it in every few years to keep up with the payments.
Your advocacy for the individual entrepreneur is something that I support but at they same time I wonder if you are not missing something that can be gained from cooperation with others in dealing with a long term asset like a forest. Forests as you recognized correctly are made of trees and they come in many different sizes, but all start very small and grow over time to be exceedingly large and heavy. A forest maintenance based economy is going to require groups that are able to cope with tending trees of all sizes. Even if an owner harvests mature trees every five years from a significant portion of the acreage the heavy equipment to do that activity will have to go some place else and harvests are not all big enough to warrant the biggest equipment to sit around waiting for the need to arise.
Similarly, involving youths in relevant activities in forests requires a complete restructuring of our understanding of what constitutes acceptable work and information transfer and what constitutes exploitation. We recognize the biological information that we use to understand forests as a language that is best learned as kids learn any language (early, light and often without structure). Our urban society has trespassed kids from such biocentric opportunities (the financial elite used the removal of price supports for small farm products to destroy rural life in a well planned and continuing program to move people into situations where they have few options to support themselves).
Being on the front lines of challenging the destruction rural sustainable lifestyles has led me to wonder about using vehicles of joint ownership of the many different kinds of equipment needed in forest maintenance and harvesting as well as shared ownership and investment in these long term assets that have so many common values associated with their presence (clean air, CO2 uptake, clean water, scenic beauty, local jobs, local materials and fuels....) many of which are non-monetized(able).
So your piece raises more questions than it answers and yet I am optimistic that the veil of slavery and true exploitation may be about to end.