Many Voices -- A Common Vision



Results of the Legacy Committee Meeting of February 1 - 2, 1997


The Legacy Committee of the Seventh American Forest Congress held its first face-to-face meeting on February 1-2, 1997 at the offices of the Society of American Foresters in Bethesda, Maryland. The members of the Legacy Committee who were present at the meeting are highlighted on the following roster of the complete committee:

Greg Aplet, Forest Ecologist, The Wilderness Society (CO)
Bill Banzhaf Executive Vice President, Society of American Foresters (MD)
Lynda Beam Tree Farmer, Savannah, GA
Jim Brown State Forester, Oregon Department of Forestry
Joan Comanor Deputy Chief for State & Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service (DC)
Jane Difley, President, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
Jo Ellen Force Professor, University of Idaho Department of Forest Resources
Sharon Haines Manager of Natural Resources, International Paper Company (GA)
Sandra Hill Chief of Trees & Landscape Division, Government of the District of Columbia
Mack Hogans, Senior Vice President--Corporate Affairs, Weyerhaeuser Company (WA)
Tom Isle Papermaker, Potlatch Corporation (MN)
Lynn Jungwirth Director, Watershed Research & Training Center (CA)
Maria Rivera-Maulucci Teacher, New York City Public Schools
Marshall Pecore, Forester, Menominee Tribe (WI)
Lou Romero Facilitator, DeLaPorte & Associates (NM)
Bryant Smith Community Forester, Baltimore Parks & People Foundation (MD)
Larry Tombaugh Dean, North Carolina State University College of Forest Resources
Laurie Wayburn, Executive Director, Pacific Forest Trust (CA)

Also present at the meeting was Bob Clausi, of the Forest Congress Information Center.

The agenda for the discussions on February 1st included introductions, an update on current activities of national committees and local groups, definition of the purpose of the Legacy Committee, and identification of the Legacy Committee's specific goals and activities for 1997. The agenda for the discussions on February 2nd included building an organizational process, budget, and funding to achieve the Committee's goals.

The key decisions reached at the Legacy Committee (LC) meeting were:

  1. The members of the LC are committed to the vision for America's forests produced at the Seventh American Forest Congress and the inclusive, participatory process used to develop the vision. They believe the LC has an important role to play encouraging local groups and the national committees to address forest issues using the Forest Congress process and principles to move toward the vision. They feel that the LC should reassess its mission after a limited, but as yet undetermined, time (e.g., three years).

  2. The mission of the LC is "to provide oversight, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation to local and national Forest Congress activities to achieve the vision and principles of the Seventh American Forest Congress."

  3. The core values of the LC include being supportive, facilitating, and nurturing rather than directing or controlling; committed to civil discourse; encouraging the expression of the full range of ideas while avoiding polarization of the discussion; and seeking to expand the inclusiveness of the dialogue.

  4. The goals of the LC that flow from its mission include:
    o Carry forward the spirit of the Seventh American Forest Congress.
    o Monitor activities at different scales (local, state, regional, national)
    o Synthesize and evaluate information from local and national activities to assess completeness of scope and inspire initiatives to address gaps in activities.
    o Review "big picture" issues and provide guidance to national committees.
    o Provide information to policy makers regarding the spirit and process of the Seventh American Forest Congress, and on-going activities.
    o Serve as a forum for raising unresolved issues.
    o Expand the dialogue wherever possible.
    o Ensure that urban forest needs are not lost in the debate.

  5. The LC developed six specific activities for 1997 based on its mission and goals, and the LC members split themselves into three to four person teams to begin work on each of these tasks (names in parentheses after task description):

    i. Identify and share tools and training resources (Isle, Jungwirth, Romero).

    ii. Identify key conferences/forums/events in which LC members can participate and promote the process and vision of the Seventh American Forest Congress (Comanor, Difley, Jungwirth, Rivera-Maulucci).

    iii. Present annual award(s) as a way of recognizing individuals and groups working in the spirit of the Forest Congress to achieve the vision (Beam, Force, Isle).

    iv. Identify stakeholders who still must be brought into the process and construct mechanisms to ensure that diversity happens (Aplet, Beam, Hill, Pecore).

    v. Identify specific measures of success for the continuation of the Forest Congress process and prepare an annual report. Publish and/or otherwise share process lessons learned at the Seventh American Forest Congress (Brown, Hogans, Tombaugh, Wayburn).

    vi. Develop ways to inform urban stakeholders of our efforts and means to involve them in the process (Comanor, Smith, Jungwirth/Communities Committee).

    Each team will report their progress to the rest of the LC by March 20th, which will give everyone time to review the material before the next LC conference call on Thursday, April 3rd at 11 AM eastern time (details to follow).

  6. A number of action items were identified for LC co-chairs Banzhaf and Haines to handle immediately:
    o Send minutes of this LC meeting to each of the national committee chairs, in turn asking them to provide the LC with their committee's mission statement, goals, activities, membership roster, reports of meetings held, etc.
    o Send the national committee chairs a memo describing the status of the First Approximation Report on criteria and indicators of domestic (U.S.) sustainable forestry, and encouraging them to involve their groups in this important process.
    o Work with LC members Tombaugh and Force to identify potential members of the Forest Management Committee -- the group's recommendations will go back to the entire LC before being presented to the Society of American Foresters, which is hosting the Management Committee and asked the LC to appoint its members.

    The entire LC agreed to assist Clausi to increase the number of links between the Forest Congress World Wide Web homepage and other relevant homepages.

  7. The main LC organizational process decisions made at the meeting were that the LC will direct the operations of the Forest Congress Information Center and the Forest Congress Information Center will provide logistical support to the mission, goals, and activities of the LC; LC members will provide in-kind support to cover the regular operating needs of the Committee (as the SAF did for this meeting); co-chairs Banzhaf and Haines, along with the Information Center, will coordinate communication among the LC members; and the LC will use an "adopt an absentee" protocol for contacting and bringing up to date LC members who miss meetings/conference calls.

  8. The LC decided that one face-to-face meeting per year, plus correspondence and conference calls as needed by working groups and the committee as a whole ought to be sufficient to coordinate LC activities. The sense of the meeting was that there may be enough resources within the LC to support the LC members who require financial assistance to attend the annual meetings. Any additional financial needs required to carry out LC activities will be determined after the working groups report in March.

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