25 July 2008 Jurskis et al. (2006) provided a disparaging critique of research on forest decline by several Australian researchers published in Australian Forestry (Volume 68(4), 2005). The letter by Jurskis et al. (2006) requires a response concerning an important environmental threat facing Australian forests that has recently been preliminarily listed as a 'Key Threatening Process' under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. There is a need for a critical assessment of their arguments, which have recently appeared in various fora (e.g. Jurskis 2005b; Jurskis and Turner 2007; Jurskis and Underwood 2007). In particular, some of these arguments require scrutiny because they rely on non-empirical sources to support their case. In this letter I examine some of the arguments provided by Jurskis et al. (2006) to highlight shortcomings in their critique and emphasise the need for caution and trepidation when interpreting their publications.