Many Voices - - A Common Vision

Levels of Agreement

The primary purpose of the Seventh American Forest Congress was to ascertain if Americans agreed on a common vision for America's forests and a set of principles to guide us toward the vision. The local roundtables that preceded the Forest Congress and the Forest Congress itself focused on creating a vision and principles.

The results demonstrate major agreement on most elements of a common vision and a large number of principles. While the vision elements and principles not widely agreed to highlight some important disagreements, the process of recrafting during the Forest Congress‹and in the earlier local roundtables as well‹demonstrates the potential of moving toward agreement even where considerable discomfort or disagreement originally exists.

This section simply reports the results of the Forest Congress itself. No interpretations are offered. The 13 vision elements are presented in the final language that was developed at the Forest Congress. Following the vision elements, 21 Revised Principles are listed. Nineteen principles that had emerged from the work of local round- tables and collaborative meetings were presented to the Forest Congress on Thursday morning, February 22. By Thursday evening, the original 19 had been recrafted by the participants and expanded into 21 Revised Principles. In addition, 39 Draft Principles were created on Thursday afternoon during an open-space exercise.

The vision elements and two sets of principles are listed in order by the level of agreement achieved.

Rather than using "yes/no" votes or processes to move towards agreement, tallies were taken at the tables using colors as symbols. The definitions of the colors are discussed in the executive summary of this report, but the general definitions that were used in the local roundtables and at the start of the Forest Congress were:

Green: Agreement, include as a vision element.
Yellow: Mixed feelings, but willing to accept as a vision element.
Red: Disagreement, do not include as a vision element.

Under each vision element and principle are participants' green, yellow, and red tallies by percentage and actual number.

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