Organizing committees also should strongly consider bringing other, less polarizing voices to local roundtables. The inclusion of community, recreation and urban forestry groups, as well as students and educators , adds fresh perspectives to issues that traditionally have been debated primarily through newspaper headlines. The new perspectives can break down old tensions and help forge the common areas of agreement that the roundtable process and the Forest Congress seek to achieve.
The contributions of each local roundtable will be synthesized into a draft summary prior to February. By mid-October, 10 roundtables had met around the country. After the four initial pilot meetings, a second Oregon roundtable was held, as were two were in Indiana, and one each in Georgia, Idaho and Wyoming. Local organizers have confirmed another 25 will be held. Proposals for eight more are now under consideration, bringing the current projected total to 43.
Finding willing participants to roundtables is not usually a problem. The more common problem is mending the disappointment of individuals and groups unintentionally omitted when planning a roundtable. The best way to solve the problem: Build a broad-based organizing team.
Following a morning meeting of the Senior Sponsors Board, eighteen reporters joined them at the National Press Club for lunch and a briefing on the Forest Congress. The Associated Press, Gannett, National Geographic, Smithsonian, BioScience, several environmental newsletters, and High Country News were some of the outlets which sent reporters.
Finding common ground, expanding outreach to include more and more points of view, and hearing from the American people not just the constituencies of groups already par- ticipating was a common message at the press conference.
Kass Green of Pacific Meridan Resources in Emeryville, CA, a new member of the Senior Sponsors Board, was one of several senior sponsors who met with the press during lunch. The Senior Sponsors Board also recently added six more new members: James Crowfoot, president of Antioch College; Sally Fairfax, associate dean of the College of Natural Resources, Univer- sity of California-Berkeley; Kathryn Fuller, president of the World Wildlife Fund; John Rasor, senior vice president of forest resources, Georgia-Pacific Corp.; Judith Stockdale, executive director of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and W.D. Ticknor, president of American Forests.
The drive to attract a wide range of voices and perspectives to the Forest Congress is working. Of the 51 directors, eight work in the forest products industry, six represent environmental organizations, and five work in national, state or local government regulatory agencies.
Six directors are active in community and economic development in regions rich with forest re- sources, eight teach or research forest-related issues at universities, seven work in professional industry or forestry organizations, seven are consultants and four members represent the Office of the Forest Congress.
New additions to the Forest Congress Board of Directors include: Jane Difley, executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, VT; Gretchen Lloyd, Grant's Pass Area Manager, Bureau of Land Management, OR; Robert Olszewski, manager of forest resources, Georgia-Pacific Corp., GA; Kathy Parker, president of the Oriskany Institute, PA; Louis Romero , senior consultant and facilitator at De La Porte & Associates, NM; Robert Simpson, vice-president, American Forest Foundation, D.C.; and Rick Weyerhaeuser, ConserVentures, MN.
The work of the Community Involvement Committee will expand after February, similar to the anticipated efforts by committees on forest management, research, policy and education. All five committees will be responsible for implementing the vision and findings of the Forest Con- gress and will use the networks established at the roundtables to achieve the desired changes in management and policy at the state and local levels.
Although the percentage of contributions from this final group is small compared to other donors, it remains equally important to the success of the Forest Congress. Based on the De- velopment Committee's projections of very likely and likely future prospects, this critical balance of constituency support will still hold true at the time of the Seventh American Forest Congress. The fundraising goal for the Forest Congress is $1.9 million.
Though no more orientation sessions are planned, a new video, "Orientation for Local Round- tables" is available from the Office of the Forest Congress. Also available are an Organizer's Manual and a Facilitator's Manual for Local Roundtables.