As those of you who regularly read and contribute to this forum know, lately it has been marked by increasingly hostile and personal remarks from a number of parties. I've corresponded with many of you via PM about this, and the sentiment across the board is that folks want peace and civility to be the norm, not the exception here. I appreciate that desire, but to get there I need your help. I'm not interested in laying blame here, but the reality is that the snide, unproductive comments have been coming from all sides. Most of it is rather mild in nature, but we can all do better. What I would ask is that folks keep their comments to ideas and that we refrain from assigning motives to the ideas and positions of others. I just went through and did some massive pruning on a few threads (though there is more to do yet), and continually I saw people referring to others as lazy, greedy, selfish, etc. ad. nauseam. The frustrating thing about many of those posts were that there was a lot of valuable information contained within them, but once an accusation or judgment was made, the point gets lost in the fray. Gentlemen, we can do better.
Moving forth, it is my hope that we can return to some semblance of the original vision of this forum. When started by the site's founder, the idea for the management forums was that they would be places where professional management biologists and technicians would come to explain management techniques to the public and where we all could discuss management strategies among concerned users. The discussion topics of late haven't been far off from that vision, but the results have been less than productive. I still believe that this forum has a place on this site and that it can serve a valuable role in discussions that can potentially bear fruit, but that is only going to be possible if we can elevate the level of discussion. To do so, it is incumbent on each of us to remain civil in our own responses to others, regardless of the nature of the posts directed at us as a group or as individuals.
For what it's worth, for the time being any posts that are even remotely personal in nature will be deleted in their entirety. In the past I have made an effort to selectively edit posts in order to retain the content that was of value, but neither I nor our moderator staff has the time to do so to the large number of posts that have been made lately which contained personal comments. Many of those recent posts have been deleted, though again I realize that more pruning needs to be done in the coming days.
Thanks for sticking with us and thank you for hearing me out. If we can all step it up a notch, I think that this forum can become one of the more valuable parts of this site.