Many Voices . . . A Common Vision

Volume 1, Number 3
December 1995

Scholarships & Registration

A limited number of scholarships are available to cover part of the cost of attending the Forest Congress. All of the scholarship funds are being independently administered.

Some scholarships may cover only the registration fee and banquet tickets. Other scholarships may also include reimbursement for transportation costs. At this time, administrators of the scholarship funds report that no full scholarships covering all expenses are being offered.

Specific selection criteria will be the responsibility of the organizations awarding the scholarships. At a minimum, all scholarship funds will require a letter stating why you want to attend, a statement of need, and a short biographical sketch. Most funds will probably want one or two letters of reference. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship, you should send your application to the appropriate organization at the same time that you mail your registration fees.

Registration forms received without payment are not sufficient to hold a place at the Forest Congress in February. Please send your registration forms to the Seventh American Forest Congress, 5400 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-2198. (Do not mail registration forms to the Office of the Forest Congress.)

The following scholarship funds list provides contact names and addresses for scholarship inquiries. Please contact the fund, or funds, that may be the most appropriate to offer you a scholarship. Scholarship funds for other stakeholder groups are being actively pursued. If you believe your background represents another stakeholder group not currently listing in the scholarship funds, please contact the Office of the Forest Congress for updates.

Current Scholarship Funds

High School and College Students Fund
Pinchot Institute for Conservation
Attn: Susan Steadfast
1616 P Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036

Small Woodland Owners/NIPFs Fund
Pinchot Institute for Conservation
Attn: Susan Steadfast
1616 P Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036

Urban Forestry Participants Fund
American Forests
Attn: Dan Smith
P.O. Box 2000
Washington, DC 20013

National Environmentalists Fund
National Audubon Society
Attn: Brock Evans
666 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20003

Northeast Environmentalists Fund
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Attn: Jane Difley
9 Bailey Avenue
Montpelier, VT 05602

Lake States Environmentalists Fund
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Attn: Janet Green
1754 Old North Shore Road
Duluth, MN 55804

Montana Environmentalists Fund
Flathead Economic Policy Center
Attn: Carol Daly
15 Depot Park
Kalispell, MT 59901

Northwest Environmentalists Fund
Northwest Renewable Resources Center
Attn: Seventh American Forest Congress Scholarship Fund c/o Amy Solomon
1411 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1510
Seattle, WA 98101-2216

Sierra Nevada Environmentalists Fund
Plumas Corporation/Quincy Library Assn.
Attn: Leah Wills
P.O. Box 3880
Quincy, CA 95971

Coastal California Environmentalists Fund
Pacific Forest Trust
Attn: Laurie Wayburn
P.O. Box 858
Boonville, CA 95415

Post Congress Plans & Activities

The Seventh American Forest Congress is an important step on the road to change, not an end point. During the last full day in Washington, D.C., participants will plan the "Next Steps." These Next Steps will include both local and national activities.

Many of the local roundtables and their collaborative organizers already have expressed interest in continuing the process of the Forest Congress to improve forest policy and forest management practices. Because many stakeholders and citizens are participating in the Forest Congress, It is appropriate to remember the often stated principle, "One size doesn't fit all," and plan Next Steps at the local and regional levels.

Two kinds of activities probably will characterize the Next Steps at the national and regional levels. First, five committees have emerged from the pre-Congress process: policy, management, research, education and communities. Each committee will be housed with a 501(c)(3) organization and given general and specific direction by the Forest Congress participants.

Second, a variety of stakeholder dialogues are expected to result at the national and local levels. These dialogues probably will involve two or more parties and will be aimed at improving the results for managing forests for both commodity and environmental values.

Several recent agreements between environmental organizations, such as the National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy, and businesses like Union Camp and Georgia-Pacific, illustrate the potential of negotiated, binding contracts.

Consultative dialogues among regional and national stakeholders could lead to non-binding advice for the U.S. Congress, state legislators, and federal and state agencies. The potential for consultative dialogues ranges from modest refinement of FACA to new institutional structures in conducting research, delivering adult education, and managing public forests.

The results of the post-Congress implementation cannot be predicted at this point. But strong agreement on vision and principles at the Forest Congress, coupled with thoughtful Next Steps that allow us to learn and creatively respond to our disagreements, can produce significant changes in American forest policy and how we manage our forest resources.

Listening Sessions

The grass roots efforts of the Forest Congress are not only citizen based in the U.S., they also involve listening to lessons learned through managing forests in foreign countries. Many other countries also have conflicts among commodity, environmental and local community land values.

The first two countries to hold listening sessions were New Zealand and Australia. European listening sessions are scheduled for Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Forest Congress Executive Director William Bentley held three listening sessions in New Zealand as part of a Senior Fullbright Fellowship with Lincoln University on agroforestry graduate programs and research. He also held a session in Melbourne. People concerned with Australian forests from five states within Australia flew to Melbourne for the Listening Session.

The two questions posed, after a brief explanation of the process flow of the Seventh American Forest Congress were: What is the impact of changes in American forest policies on you? What lessons can we learn from your experience balancing forest values?

The response at each of the sessions was overwhelming. First, the people in both countries were delighted to be asked. They were frank in saying that they often believed Americans ignored the wisdom and experience of other countries. Second, they were uniformly excited by the process of the Seventh American Forest Congress and by our concrete goals of a common vision, guiding principles and next steps.

Discussion in both countries pointed to the rapid rise in timber prices, especially for radiata pine (Monterey pine from California), following declining harvest levels from the western national forests.

They also noted that the results of American and European actions in the global environmental movement appeared rapidly Down Under, for better and for worse.

The lessons we might learn from New Zealand come from its Forest Accord among many companies and environmental organizations. The Forest Accord is formally titled "The 1991 Resource Management Act". The act unified many community and sustainability principles into one piece of national legislation and addressed the significance of dominant-use practices and the privatization of forest research.

The Australian lessons of importance center on federal-state relationships, which New Zealand does not have, and the patient, long-term perspective required to achieve consultative and negotiated agreements among the various stakeholders.

Copies of short reports on both listening sessions will be available shortly from the Office of Seventh American Forest Congress. If funding is obtained, future listening sessions will be attempted in Siberia, several Asian nations and a few countries in Latin American.

Training & Communications

Support materials for roundtables and general information are available from the Office of the Forest Congress.

A video, "Orientation for Local Roundtables," outlines the steps organizers and participants should follow to stage a successful roundtable. Similar guidance can be found in the Organizer's and Facilitator's Manuals for Local Roundtables.

A list of collaborating organizations and a directory of Forest Congress Boards and Committees is also available from the Office of the Forest Congress, as is a fact sheet describing the birth of the Forest Congress at the Nebraska Roundtable.

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