Dear Editor,I write today not as a critic of any particular person or group of persons but as a young man who has been involved in forestry since birth. My father was involved and his father was also involved. Over the last few months I have noticed some troubling signs which have lead me to believe that the forestry sector is heading in the direction of disrepair.As a stakeholder, I am familiar with all the happenings and probably even privy to outside information which may not meet persons in authority. There are a few things I would like to bring to your attention. First, it is no secret that Minister Trotman is a lawyer who was, prior to his appointment as Minister, in private practice. He has little or no experience in dealing with the forestry sector. Regardless, he has been placed in more of a managerial position and therefore has to rely on the relevant qualified persons around him for advice so as to enable him to make proper and prudent decisions. This said, the Minister should be revising the composition of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Forestry Commission. The Chairperson of the Board has made no significant contributions to the forestry sector in Guyana. Even if we were to forget her lack of experience, we cannot ignore that she has made no significant contribution to the forestry sector for the period she has been Chairperson.Another person of interest on the Board is Clayton Hall. I am aware that Hall is also a member of a number of other boards. Clayton Hall once served as the Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission and because of his failure to adequately and successfully manage the Commission, he was removed. While Mr Hall brings qualifications to the Board, he lacks the ability to adequately and appropriately contribute to the development of the sector. On many occasions, my fellow stakeholders have indicated that he has been a failure in most of his professional and business endeavours. At the beginning of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change’s term in office, Hall was appointed as Advisor to Minister Trotman; however, I was told that he no longer holds that position and is no longer located at the Ministry. He nevertheless holds a position within the Natural Resources Ministry. I wonder if this was done because the Minister recognised that he has very little to contribute.Janet Bulkan is another member of the Board who should not be there. This woman does not live in Guyana. She has been critical of the forestry sector for as long as I can remember. She has no interest in making suggestions to fix what may be wrong with the sector. Her interest seems to be rooted in pushing foreign investors out of Guyana .Guyana is a poor country. The people of Guyana do not have the money to make large investments like foreign companies. For the Guyanese people to benefit, Guyana needs foreign investors to assist so instead of pushing the foreign investors out, what we should be doing is encouraging them to invest. I am quite certain with properly drafted agreements, the Guyanese people will benefit.Editor, we heard the Finance Minister recently state that in 2015, for the first time in recent history, forestry among other industries has found itself “in various states of distress”. I believe this alone is evidence that the people who are currently responsible for the sector are not doing a good job. Prior to the appointment of the new Board, the sector was in a better position and this is what has lead me to conclude that it is probably more the board which is responsible.As a person whose life is deeply rooted in the forestry sector, I can say that there has been an increase in illegal activities throughout Guyana at the logging concession level. There are cases of officers turning a blind eye to illegal activity and the illegal movement of wood. This has been crippling the businesses of persons who are doing things the legal way.I therefore urge the Minister to carefully review and reconsider the members of the board at the Guyana Forestry Commission. There are a number of persons in Guyana who are young, qualified and suitably experienced to comprise the board. Let us not be blind to loyalty. If the Minister is truly interested in moving the sector forward, then he needs suitably qualified and experienced persons to assist. With the right people by his side, he will be able to make proper and prudent decisions. The Minister needs to remember that he is the person under the microscope, he is the one who sits in Parliament and has to be scrutinised and it will be his reputation and abilities that will be called into question when the sector does not perform and therefore he should have the best, brightest and most capable people at his side. The livelihood of a number of Guyanese, like myself, depend on the smooth running of the Guyana Forestry Commission.