Forestry at the Crossroads by W.D. Hagenstein - Consulting Forester

Bill was the spokesperson for our industry for many years.
(From our 2001 Calendar - A tribute to my friend.) - Bill's book: www.corksandsuspenders.com

Under the leadership of the forestry profession we have been traveling up the road of conservation fulfillment for more than a generation. WeBill have been motivated to make the United States self-sufficient in wood and to build up surpluses for unseen contingencies. We are now faced with a decision of whether we stay on the road to conservation fulfillment or turn to the left to conservation frustration.

Different from pioneer conservation crusaders, today's activists want to diminish our timber growing land base. They want to sterilize millions of acres of it for single use or no use. They have articulate allies, journalists and politicians, who seldom recognize the role the renewable forest resource plays in the well-being of our country. If they are successful in detouring us off the road to conservation fulfillment to the road of conservation frustration, future generations will want for their essential wood needs. You can't turn the forestry faucet off and on like a water tap. Conservation fulfillment in forestry needs planning and action now for the wood for tomorrow.

The forestry profession started the conservation movement and led it for a generation. But this leadership has been significantly challenged in the last 30 years by outdoor and political organizations heralded to be seeking recreation, beauty, wilderness, hunting, and fishing, and by their more sophisticated adherents, eco-system management, biodiversity, untrammeled land and balance of nature. These groups have taken the mantle of conservation away from the forestry profession and snugly draped it around their collective shoulders. They are against tree cutting, logging and road building. They seldom admit the renewability of forests or the purpose of forestry as the protecting, growing, harvesting and growing again of successive crops of trees for human needs
.
Regardless of their employment, foresters by their professional training, experience and sense of public trust want to manage forestlands and all their resources as competently as their technical skills, the country's economy and the political climate will allow. They recognize fully that the problem is compounded by the rapid increase in our population which emphasizes the need for more products and jobs. They know too that products which come from renewable raw materials, like wood, become more important each day. They recognize the shift of population from country to city has made it much more difficult to get support for the kind of public policies which will serve all the people the best. They know, despite the increased educational attainments in the United States in our time, that we have much too much economic illiteracy among our city folks. They know these people depend on rural lands for their wealth and necessities, but that few of them realize it. They also know that the conservation demagogues with their political pressures for land withdrawals, beautification, and single or no use, pose economic, social, and political problems never observed before on the road to conservation fulfillment.

The forestry profession must again assert intelligent leadership of the conservation movement it started a century ago. It must emphasize the Nation's necessity to maintain our remarkable, renewable, world of trees. It must emphasize that the road to conservation frustration is a real threat to conservation fulfillment. Above all, foresters must take the right turn at the crossroads by courageously, honestly, and effectively guiding public policies which in the long run will assure a permanent, bountiful and useful forest resource with all its lasting benefits for all the American people.

W.D. (Bill) Hagenstein
Bill served as Executive Vice President of the Industrial Forestry Association from 1949 until 1980. Bill also holds the distinction of being one of the original signers of the document that started the American Tree Farm System. Bill is also directly responsible for much that has led to the development of our sustainable forest system, road system and fire prevention/suppression around the country.

William D. Hagenstein: 1915-2014 (99-1/2 years)
"The forestry world lost a giant last week. William D. “Bill” Hagenstein died September 4 in Portland, Oregon at age 99. Apart from his mentor, Bill Greeley, no one in American history did more to help advance forestry’s great cause than Bill. I know this because I have every speech and article he ever wrote; also all of his congressional testimony plus maybe forty hours of recorded interviews. We were friends for 42 years." -Jim Petersen - Evergreen Magazine/Foundation.


home | forestry photos | forest calendars | order calendars | forestry links | view prior calendars | contact us

© 2015 • design by MEI Communications • Bend, Oregon