Magazine article American Forests

The Duluth Manifesto

Magazine article American Forests

The Duluth Manifesto

Article excerpt

A distinguished cadre of concerned conservationists presents for your comment the first draft of a new forest-stewardship credo.

On a cold day in October 1991, three foresters attending a meeting in Duluth, Minnesota, spent most of a convivial evening discussing the dismal state of forestry affairs worldwide. The trio--former AMERICAN FORESTS president Perry Hagenstein, current vice president Bill Ticknor, and myself, an AMERICAN FORESTS member--shared keen distress and frustration about increasing polarization over the use of the world's forests. They also recognized that complaining was not enough.

Thus was born the idea of creating a stewardship credo that foresters and others could review, modify, and support.

Over the next few months a discussion draft was written and circulated among some forestry leaders around the country. Encouraged by a favorable response, we invited a small group of people with diverse views to a meeting to discuss and refine the Manifesto.

For two days meeting participants examined and vigorously debated the original Manifesto draft. The result was a new discussion draft, finished in September 1992. That draft bore the names of 12 individuals. Since that time, the Manifesto has been circulated further and has attracted another 34 signers, many well known in forestry circles.

Original signers are Perry Hagenstein, MA; William Shands, VA; William Ticknor, OH; Richard Behan, AZ; Hanna Cortner, AZ; Fred Ebel, WA; James Giltmier, VA; Lloyd Irland, ME; Dennis Le Master, IN; Clark Row, MD; Arthur Smyth, VA; and Henry Webster, MN.

New signers are: Paul Bofinger, NH; Robert S. Bond, MA; Barbara Clark, MI; Daniel E. Chappelle, MI; Kent Connaughton, OR; James E. Coufal, Syracuse, NY; Robert Eisenmenger, MA; Paul Ellefson, MN; David B. Field, ME; John Gordon, CN; Richard Jordan, NJ; Lawrence H. King, MN; David B. Kittredge Jr. MA; John McGuire, VA; Robert W. Miller, WI; Hyde H. Murray, DC; James C. Nelson, PA; Carl Reidel, VT; Thomas Ripley, TN; Hal Salwasser, MT; R. Neil Sampson, VA; Gary Schneider, TN; John E. Sargent, NH; Noel K. Sheldon, VT; William Sizemore, AL; Zane G. Smith, OR; Henry Swan, NH; Charles M. Tarver, GA; Tammara Van Ryn, NH; Peter F. Watzek, MS; Paul Weingart, MT; James E. Wilkinson, Jr., VT; Donald C. Willeke, MN; and Herbert Winer, CT.

The Manifesto is intended to articulate a balanced--centrist--position, which might provide the basis for constructive dialogue among the many who are concerned about the world's forests. Thus the Manifesto is a starting point for continued discussion. We welcome comments and additional signers. Send comments to Perry Hagenstein at P.O. Box 44, Wayland, MA 01778.

The Duluth Manifesto: Principles to Guide Decisions on Forests


To articulate and champion principles to ensure the vitality of forests so as to help sustain the global environment and economy.


Forests play a vital role in meeting fundamental human needs and in sustaining a healthy environment. Without healthy, productive forests, the quality of our lives would be poorer and life itself would be in jeopardy. Forests are places for exercise, reflection, recreation, study, and spiritual renewal. They provide, among other things, the wood we use to build our homes, the paper we use to exchange information, the oxygen we breathe, and the water we drink. The integrity and stability of human life is dependent on maintaining the integrity and stability of the plants, animals, and other components of forest ecosystems. …

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