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The Duluth manifesto.

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.

The relationship between humans and forests is constantly changing; thus there is a need to continually reassess and redefine the role of forests in a society whose values are always evolving. Everyone should understand how we can benefit from the many dimensions of forests as well as understand that none of these benefits can be achieved without healthy and resilient forest ecosystems.

This generation inherited forestlands that had provided wood for building cities and making railroad ties and mine timbers, and charcoal to forge iron vital to the nation's development. Early in this century, evidence of intensive use and abuse of the forests was apparent across the land. While many of the abuses of the exploitation era have ended, the forests are still used intensively by a growing population with new technologies and changing values. We must continue the process of renewal to assure future generations the benefits we have enjoyed.

A growing world population will place unprecedented pressures on forests everywhere, threatening their capacity to provide the many things we require of them. To maintain healthy forest systems, with the benefits that flow from them, we must apply the best science and social knowledge to forest management. Science is continuing to expand our knowledge of the forest; we must use this knowledge to improve the quality and quantity of forest resources for our benefit and the benefit of generations to come.

This manifesto articulates principles to guide the use and management of forests, both public and private, and describes the relationships between resource managers and the publics they serve, both present and future. In advancing this manifesto, we believe that informed dialogue is an essential prelude to public consensus.


1. Humans are part of nature and the forest environment. All forests have been and will continue to be affected by human actions.

2. Forest policies are and must be driven by the broad goals and objectives of an informed society.

3. Healthy forests are essential if the United States is to achieve environmental quality and economic vitality.

4. If forests' contributions to meeting human needs are to be sustained, population growth and rising consumption must be addressed together.

5. As a consuming country, the U.S. has a responsibility to help developing countries use their resources wisely. The U.S. should export its knowledge, not its environmental problems.

6. Sustaining and renewing forests requires the application of the best available science and technology.

7. Landowner rights must be based on responsible stewardship. At the same time, society must exercise its interests with due respect for landowners' rights.

8. Sustainable development means securing current benefits from forests without compromising their ability to meet the needs of future generations.

9. The public has a stake in decisions that influence the use and condition of forests. Strong and confident resource professionals recognize the benefits of collaboration and shared leadership.

William E. Shands is vice president of the Institute for Forest Analysis, Planning, and Policy in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Title Annotation:World Forests; forest protection
Author:Shands, William E.
Publication:American Forests
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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