On Friday, April 10, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room, we are very pleased to host a special seminar featuring Jim Furnish, former deputy chief of the U.S. Forest Service, who recently published a memoir about his career, Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition.
The program will include a brief talk and reading by Furnish, who spent 34 years with the Forest Service and now works as a consulting forester in the Washington, D.C. area. We’ll also be viewing of a short documentary film by Seattle videographer Alan Honick, Seeing the Forest, which captures 20 years in the Siuslaw National Forest (where Furnish served as supervisor from 1992 to 1999).
Then, following the book and film presentations, Mike Anderson, a senior policy analyst with the Wilderness Society, will moderate a panel discussion about themes from the video and memoir—and their implications for public land management. SEFS Director Tom DeLuca will be joining Furnish and Honick on the panel, and we’re looking forward to a lively discussion!
You can check out a four-minute trailer for Honick’s video to get a look at his work, and Furnish’s memoir, published by Oregon State University Press, will be released on April 1.
The presentation is free and open to the public, so come out and join us!
From the Publisher
“Jim Furnish joined the U.S. Forest Service in 1965, enthusiastic and naive, proud to be part of such a storied and accomplished agency. Nothing could have prepared him for the crisis that would soon rock the agency to its foundation, as a burgeoning environmental movement challenged the Forest Service’s legacy and legitimacy.
The Forest Service stumbled in responding to a wave of lawsuits from environmental groups in the late 20th Century—a phenomenon best symbolized by the spotted owl controversy that shut down logging on public forests in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s. The agency was brought to its knees, pitted between a powerful timber industry that had been having its way with the national forests for decades, and organized environmentalists who believed public lands had been abused and deserved better stewardship.
Toward a Natural Forest offers an insider’s view of this tumultuous time in the history of the Forest Service, presenting twin tales of transformation, both within the agency and within the author’s evolving environmental consciousness. While stewarding our national forests with the best of intentions, had the Forest Service diminished their natural essence and ecological values? How could one man confront the crisis while remaining loyal to his employer?
In this revealing memoir, Furnish addresses the fundamental human drive to gain sustenance from and protect the Earth, believing that we need not destroy it in the process. Drawing on the author’s personal experience and his broad professional knowledge, Toward a Natural Forest illuminates the potential of the Forest Service to provide strong leadership in global conservation efforts. Those interested in our public lands—environmentalists, natural resource professionals, academics, and historians—will find Jim Furnish’s story deeply informed, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring.”
Photo © Jim Furnish.