Many Voices . . . A Common Vision

Volume 1, Number 4
June 1996


Forest Congress Implementation Phase Plans Coming Together

The organizational arrangement that has guided the Seventh American Forest Congress since January 1995 will give way to a new structure as of July 1. The Forest Congress national meeting held in Washington, DC in February 1996, along with the individual input and the dozens of roundtables and collaborative meetings that preceded it, produced a vision and principles to help guide actions aimed at addressing the issues facing America's forests. The Final Report has now been produced (see document list), bringing to a close the first phase of the Forest Congress process. It is now time to address real, on-the-ground forest issues.

The new organizational structure is designed to initiate and sustain inclusive local and national civil dialogues that lead to implementation of natural resource decisions consistent with the vision of the Seventh American Forest Congress. A Legacy Committee composed of representatives of the national implementation committees, some members of the former Forest Congress Board of Directors, and individuals who participated in the February meeting will serve as the "Keepers of the Vision" by providing oversight, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation to local and national Forest Congress activities.

The Office of the Forest Congress will become the Forest Congress Information Center, which will track the activities of local groups and the national committees, and will report this information to interested parties through this newsletter, a homepage on the World Wide Web, and other means. The Forest Congress Information Center will work closely with a volunteer Communications Committee to see that important news of Forest Congress activities reaches relevant media outlets.

The final elements of the Forest Congress implementation phase structure are the five national implementation committees that have been formed to deal with the topical areas of Communities, Education, Management, Policy, and Research.

The Communities Committee will focus its attention on the interdependence between America's forests and the vitality of rural and urban communities. The committee will identify and highlight local initiatives that are successfully dealing with community-related forest issues. The committee will also coordinate post-Congress roundtable follow-up with the Forest Congress Information Center, as well as work with partnership and other community-based groups dealing with natural resource issues. For more information, contact committee chair Lynn Jungwirth, Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA 96041. Phone: 916-628-4206. Email: lynnj@tcoe.trinity.k12.ca

The Education Committee will focus its attention on improving the content of educational materials that deal with forest issues aimed at youth and the general public. A number of organizations will participate in this effort, including the North American Association of Environmental Educators, the American Forest Foundation (through its Project Learning Tree program), and the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges. More information about the committee can be obtained from chair Dennis LeMaster, Department of Forestry, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN 47907. Phone: 317-494-3590. Email: dclmstr@forest1.fnr.purdue.edu.

The Management Committee is being hosted by the Society of American Foresters and a steering committee for the first stage of the committee's work is being formed. For information, contact Bill Banzhaf, Executive Vice President, Society of American Foresters, 5400 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301-897-8720.Email:banzhafb@safnet.org.

The Policy Committee will monitor trends in forest policy at the state and national levels, and communicate it's findings to interested parties through the Forest Congress Information Center. The committee is exploring the idea of applying the Seventh American Forest Congress vision and principles to an actual national forest policy issue. The committee is also involved in developing stakeholder dialogues as a constructive tool for dealing with policy issues. The Pinchot Institute for Conservation is the host organization for the Policy Committee, and chair Perry Hagenstein can be reached at the Institute for Forest Analysis, Planning and Policy, Box 44, Wayland, MA 01778. Phone:508-358-2261. Email: hagenstein@aol.com.

The Research Committee is forming a steering committee of about 30 people, with half being researchers and the other half being users of science-based information. The committee's first meeting will be in early fall 1996 in Portland, OR. Key questions include how to form a strong constituency voice from users of forest research, how to improve the funding base, and new organizational and institutional innovations that will increase the usefulness of research results. The Yale Forest Forum is hosting the committee and Bill Bentley is the chair (205 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Phone:860-653-3195. Email:b.bentley@cgnet.com).


Local Highlights

There is a great deal of renewed activity at the local level following the Forest Congress meeting held February in Washington, DC. Many groups that held pre-Congress roundtables plan to reconvene in the coming months, including those in Los Angeles, Placerville, San Bernardino, and San Diego, CA; Grand Junction, CO; Moscow, ID; Lake of the Ozarks, MO; and Missoula, MT. Here are some highlights of other local activities:

Addressing tax issues in Alabama

Creating a set of recommendations to revise federal taxation of forest lands will be the first action step undertaken by the reconvened Alabama Roundtable. This topic received a high level of support at the pre-Congress Alabama Roundtable and at the state's back-home tables at the Washington, DC meeting. Roundtable organizers envision moving ahead in 1997 to address other identified action steps: i.e., improving forest education and information for landowners and the general public, designation of more eastern wilderness, and protection of private property rights. For more information, contact Ted Meredith at 334-343-0185.

Multi-state meeting in Iowa

A multi-state meeting of Society of American Foresters chapters in the Midwest plans to use the vision and principles of the Forest Congress as a template for future regional action. The meeting will be held in Amana Colonies, Iowa on October 4-5. SAF members from Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota will attend, and invitations may also be extended to participants in Forest Congress roundtables from those states.

After a review of the results of the Forest Congress, meeting attendees will hear three responses: one from SAF executive vice president Bill Banzhaf, one from industry, and one from the environmental community. The group will then address what actions they should initiate in individual states and the region, and the steps needed to avoid duplicating efforts. For more information, contact Brent Olson at 712-456-2924.

Adaptive management in Oregon

At a June 5 meeting, the reconvened LaGrande Roundtable proposed to refine the principles from its October 1995 meeting to incorporate the outcome of the Inter-Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Plan (ICBEMP), a 75-million acre adaptive management project now being conducted by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The group also suggested that roundtable participants conduct a series of field trips as a means of reaching agreement on which components of the ICBEMP to support. If resolution can be achieved, the roundtable will be in a better position to endorse a specific management plan for the area. The group also proposed to facilitate a series of public meetings to enhance understanding and feedback of ICBEMP alternatives. For more information, contact Lynn Starr at 541-962-6548.

Topical meetings in Georgia

An ongoing series of meetings has begun in Georgia following on the Forest Congress. The newly formed Georgia Forest Resource Council has met twice since February to address management of forests near the Chattahoochie River and implementation of the next steps developed at the Georgia back-home tables at the Washington, DC meeting. A third roundtable scheduled for August will address burning regulations proposed in the Atlanta area. For more information, contact Bob Izlar at 770-416-7621.

Moving forward in California

A follow-up meeting of the Redding Roundtable is planned for mid-October. The group expects to develop next step actions in two areas. The first will involve identifying and/or creating management projects that are suitable for monitoring by all parties who participated in their December 1995 roundtable. The second will address developing ideas to encourage routing of federal funds to the local level to enable multi-year planning of management projects. For more information, contact Mary Schroeder at 916-365-9172.

Please contact the Forest Congress Information Center
with news of activities in your local area!

yff@yale.edu


Advisory Meeting on Stakeholder Dialogues Set

A meeting is planned for July 11 - 12, 1996 at the headquarters of the Izaak Walton League in Gaithersburg, Maryland to discuss the potential of stakeholder dialogues in the implementation phase of the Forest Congress. The group planning to attend this meeting includes representatives of environmental organizations, industry, government, academia, the media, small woodland owners, and others who want to see positive progress made on forest issues, with actions based on the foundation of vision and principles established at the Seventh American Forest Congress.

Consultative dialogue among forest stakeholders is a promising method for working out solutions to specific contentious issues. The Forest Congress Information Center has reports on a number of completed and ongoing dialogues. A summary of the recommendations that come out of the July meeting regarding the general outline for how to conduct dialogues and examples of issues that might be constructively addressed through this technique will be reported in an upcoming issue of Many Voices...A Common Vision.


Final Report Errata

Readers who have received a copy of the Final Report from the Seventh American Forest Congress should note that due to a file transfer error, not all the tally results printed next to the vision elements in Appendix 9 of the Final Report are consistent with the results that appear on pages 5-7. The totals and percentages presented on pages 5-7 of the Final Report correctly reflect the results of the participants' preferences for each of the 13 vision elements in the final tally. The vision elements in Appendix 9 are listed, from top to bottom, in the order in which they appeared on the tally sheet used on February 23. The same tally results appear on pages 5-7 and in Appendix 9 for vision elements 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10. The tally results in Appendix 9 will be corrected in future printings of the Final Report.
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