You, Gifford Pinchot and the Ladies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Leonard B. Netzorg
Annually since 1969, the S. J. Hall Lectures have brought to Berkeley speakers who were academically trained in the several disciplines of forestry and who winnowed out for you the new learning which their illustrious careers had produced to advance the horizons of your profession.
Juxtaposed against that salutary pattern, your speaker tonight is an aberration who - as perhaps is characteristic of Berkeley - is revolutionary. But don't let that bother you. It certainly doesn't bother me. After all, if there was evidence of some revolutionary thought here in the sixties, you must recall that the students at my alma mater entered strongly into revolutionary activities beginning in the early seventies. I refer, of course, to the 1770's, to such men as Nathan Hale, and to the American Revolution which is happily still making yeasty progress at home and, hopefully, abroad.
If my presence here is revolutionary for you, it is at least equally revolutionary for me. For the first time in what has been a long and adventuresome life, this evening I crossed the threshold of a school of forestry. Perhaps such intellectual outbreeding will help both you and me. In any event, I hope to come away with new challenges to consider and to leave you provoked and some of you even riled as we sharpen our tongues to lacerate some sacred cows.
Since we have begun on a revolutionary kick, let's stay with it for a few minutes. As World War I ended, the nation was shocked by what it perceived to be the savagery of the Russian Revolution. As was the case in many other states, California responded in 1919 with a statute that made it a crime to form or knowingly join an organization that advocated the commission of unlawful acts of force as a means to accomplishing political change.1 Within a few weeks a young woman named Whitney was arrested, tried, and convicted of violating that Act.
In the United States Supreme Court, the case produced a concurring opinion by Justice Brandeis in which Justice Holmes joined. With a quiet eloquence that will live as long as men have minds, Justice Brandeis described how open discussion is fundamental to freeing men from the bondage of irrational fears. In the course of that statement is a sentence which, with some historical distortion that all you history scholars will recognize, I have appropriated for a key part of the title of this paper. Justice Brandeis wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt Women."2
The ladies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, of course, were not burned. They were drowned. In either case, a segment of the population intent on achieving ends that seemed essential to them and irrationally fearful of the power of others to thwart their goals, perceived witches and killed women.
America has had its share of witches. In the 1840's the Know-Nothing party was an American political force irrationally fearful of the new German immigrants and the unspoken and unspeakable horrors they would spread among us. It was a mean period in our history. Fortunately the witches survived physically and so their biological descendants, like Justice Brandeis, could bring their wisdom to the Supreme Court and, like General Spaatz and Admiral Nimitz, could display the courage we needed to avert the world's regression into a Dark Age.
After a while, industrialization created forces that generated the beginnings of unionism. Again there was an effort to drown a minority in the venom that dripped from words saturated with evil connotations. Then in the 1920's we had a new crop of witches whom the Ku Klux Klan defined and similarly assaulted. Getting closer to our day, there were the countless Pinkos with whom Senator McCarthy populated the federal establishment until Ed Morrow and the United States Senate put an end to that particular witchcraft.
And that brings me to today's witches.
My friends, welcome to the coven. If that word is not in the nomenclature of forestry, the dictionary defines it as an assemblage of witches.
You are today's witches.
You clear-cut Douglas-fir. You drive new roads into areas of old trees, so that you may persist in manufacturing still more lumber and plywood. You care not a hoot for the spotted owl. Some of you do not agree that on 20 million acres in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington man should be ousted in favor of grizzly bears. Some of you even think that more, not fewer, people should be able to make more, not fewer, uses of the forests. And when the Constitution says that Congress is the legislative arm of the government, some of you deliberately subvert the Constitution as you legislate by chain saw.
Well, maybe you don't subvert the Constitution, but my coven did. Let me tell you about it.
Witchcraft and Wilderness
In 1970, entomological surveys of the Wenatchee National Forest disclosed no significant spruce budworm infestation. But in 1971, 2360 acres were infested; by 1972, 112,000 acres were infested; and by 1973 the infestation had penetrated 283,000 acres. That's more than 442 square miles. Accompanying the spruce budworm was the mountain pine beetle. Nearby outbreaks of the tussock moth were observed. The existing and threatened destruction was awesome.
Intermingled in the affected area were a couple of checkerboard sections of private land. On one section, the infestation spread from less than 10 percent of the trees in 1971 to 75 percent in 1973. On the other section, in the same time span the infestation spread from fewer than 10 percent of the trees to a disastrous 90 percent. The landowner asked for part of the needed access to these sections and, along with the Forest Service, was met with environmental litigation.
In a few days, a thorough hearing commenced and the federal court permitted the company to proceed with the road and timber harvesting.3
A year later, the company asked for minor additional road rights needed for the same purpose. Again the environmental litigation. But this time, the then governor of the state instructed his agencies to intervene to block the needed access. Once more there was a trial in the federal district court and once more the company won. This time, however, the governor ordered the state to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. There the state asked for an instant injunction to hold everything in abeyance until - perhaps 18 or 24 months later - that court could finally rule on the case. After a couple of weeks the court issued a short opinion. The court said that normally it would issue such an injunction almost as a matter of course. But here, the court said, getting that timber speedily out of the woods was affirmatively in the public interest. The injunction was denied and the lawsuit died.4
About 3 or 4 weeks later, that same governor stood before 2,000 screaming adherents and charged that company with legislating by chain saw, thereby ousting Congress from its constitutional prerogative. And that, fellow witches, is how we do it in my coven.
That case, as you will have guessed, involved a small corner of a very large area that the plaintiffs proposed for wilderness. Indeed they had expanded their proposed wilderness area only at the last minute to include the patch under litigation. The entire area, strangely, was already penetrated at several points by miles of roads. And even under the 1964 Wilderness Act, the Secretary of Agriculture must afford adequate access to privately owned land surrounded by wilderness.5 So what did we do about the governor's inflammatory nonsense? Nothing, except to take heart as we remembered the steadfastness of our ancestors who were drowned in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
And since we have mentioned wilderness, let's pursue that a bit. People who read the major metropolitan dailies believe that the witches are out to destroy the wilderness. These witches are in corporate - not corporeal - form. They are impelled by an insane greed for profits. Once they have chain sawed all the trees, they abandon the land to devastating erosion. They care not a whit whether another tree ever grows, whether the deer and the elk will have habitat, whether another bird will ever sing or raptor hunt. Witches, in short, would make the earth indistinguishable from the surface of the moon. That is a popular perception of what you witchy descendants of Gifford Pinchot mean to do.
More precisely, it is the popular notion that the matter of the expansion of wilderness to encompass still further timberlands presents an issue that exists fundamentally between avaricious lumbermen and pristine wilderness. That notion is the product of irrational illusion.
The Wilderness and Its Users
If there were no private lumber industry in the United States, the issue would still be here. Considering the limited volumes of our timber resources and the conflicting demands upon them, even a socialized or sovietized type of government would be faced with the same issue of how much of that resource to devote to goods and services and how much to quarantine in wilderness and similar non-productive status. The issue, then, is not lumbermen versus excessive wilderness. With or without a private lumber industry, the persisting issue is one of resource allocation to serve the people of the nation.
On one side of the equation, the wants of people are well-known - housing, newspapers, packaging materials, and the host of other products essential to the ordinary comforts and conveniences that are part of our daily experiences. The product list runs from decent housing for all American families to The New York Times and toilet paper and protective packaging for the television set that must be shipped a thousand miles from the factory to the home where it will entertain. The consumers of those products are the ultimate users of forest products. Their number is legion and their ages run from prenatal to postmortem status.
Who are the users of the Wilderness Areas? Primarily, they are teenagers and young adults under 25 years of age.6 They are overwhelmingly urban dwellers and use primarily the wilderness that is close to home.7 Economically, they are in the middle and upper middle income groups.8 Because of their age, their favorable economic class is probably largely reflective of their parents' - not their own - activities. They are sharply characterized by a high educational standing, such as university students or recent graduates.9 Whether that education was gained in a public or a private institution, it was heavily subsidized by tax money and, in the private institutions, by private donations as well as by endowment funds.10 To the extent that they have occupations, they are primarily in the fields of social service and education.11 Ethnically, wilderness data are lacking, but perhaps we may draw an inexact conclusion from the fact that non-whites form 12.3 percent of our population but account for only 7.3 percent of total national forest recreation use.12
Essentially, then, the statistical portrait of a wilderness user is that of a young, white city dweller from a well-to-do family who has received or can reasonably expect to get a superior education that the rest of us subsidize.
But this does not complete the portrait of the typical wilderness user. He undergoes a metamorphosis. Somewhere around the age of 25 he stops being a wilderness user. That is about the age when family formation and the acquisition of a home takes place. At that time our erstwhile wilderness user becomes primarily a user of wood products - a homeowner, a reader of newspapers and magazines, buyer and user of goods that often include wood fiber and are usually packaged in or protected by wood fiber. Because of his childhood in a relatively affluent family, it is reasonable to expect that be has enjoyed good nutrition and adequate medical care. In other words, we may reasonably expect him to function as a user of wood products for forty or fifty years after he ceases being a wilderness user.
This provokes a look at still more relevant statistics. Today the average age in the United States is 28 years but by the end of the century it will have climbed to 35 years.13 We must expect, therefore, that the proportion of the population that is the wilderness user will greatly decline while the proportion that is the wood user, including the metamorphosed wilderness user, will greatly increase.
So there is the real problem. Suppose one wants to serve the interests of the wilderness user. Presumably, he is a wilderness user for ten years of his life span. For the next 50 years, this same person becomes a heavy user of wood products. Shall we serve the desires of this privileged youth through his ten-year span of intermittent wilderness use or shall we serve his needs and incidentally the needs of all other elements of our society during his ensuing 50 mature years as a daily user and consumer of wood products?
Use of Timber Resources
The Congress has twice told us that we are failing to meet the declared national policy of a decent home for every American family.14 Obviously we are going to house our people. We can do this with renewable or with irreplaceable resources. Right now, people knowledgeable in the field wonder whether we could deliver the wood products needed for 2 million housing starts per year - a high but certainly not an unprecedented level.
If we should experience that level of demand, the screams against us will double and redouble. The multiplicity of lumber and plywood producers makes managed prices or controlled rates of production an impossibility. Nevertheless we shall be branded colluders who artificially restrain production. We shall be called price gougers.
That's pretty much what a government agency called us a few times on the evening television news during the last episode of price controls. Under those supposed controls, federal stumpage was uncontrolled. So in not too many months it bounded up 50 percent. That increase was lawfully passed through. Likewise, the initial transaction in which foreign lumber entered the United States was also uncontrolled. To that import price, the customary markups were lawfully added through the domestic distribution chain.
Because the East Coast megalopolis is heavily served by imported foreign lumber, concentrated screams of agony beset our world. The government, as I have said, helped to broaden the screaming with the material it pumped into the national TV news, We witches escaped burning or drowning, I suppose, only because most white-collar people think it impolite to burn or drown other white-collar people. But for a while, our rides on our broomsticks were pretty shaky.
Let housing starts approach the 2 million level and we shall receive the same nasty treatment. We alone will listen to our explanations that we do not - indeed as a practical matter, we cannot - collude to fix lumber and plywood prices. If we mention the millions of acres of timberland that are quarantined against productive use, the public response will be directed, as usual, to the avarice that characterizes our covens. Facts will fall by the wayside; irrationality will prevail. And if we are to heed the advice that we shall receive, you people in the universities will have to crank up your test tubes, or whatever you do, to learn how to produce wood for housing without cutting trees. Well, maybe not that bad but certainly somewhere in that order of magnitude.
There are other things, too. Attending a few days of congressional hearings recently in Washington, D. C., I watched a congressman from California repeatedly waggle a letter from the Justice Department that charges rampant collusion in the bidding for federal timber.15 We have no way to defend against such charges. It's about as easy to prove that you do not collude as it is to prove that you do not commit arson or that you are not married. And the courts are not open to us in this situation except where the government sues with charges of specific wrongdoing. So far that has happened twice in the last several decades. On one occasion the federal court listened for several days to the complete case of the Justice Department and then threw the case out of court, holding that the government had not presented any such evidence as could go to the jury.16 A second prosecution resulted in convictions that are now on appeal.17 With the case in that posture, it would be improper for me to comment on it. Of course, there have been a number of grand juries investigating various of us who have found no cause to send the investigated case to trial. But we are all branded. And I am sure the letter will be waggled and rewaggled. I do not object to the political or judicial system that grants immunity to the governmental authors and wagglers of such letters. Knowing that the spirit of Joe McCarthy has not been extirpated from our government, I simply sigh and wish that responsible governmental positions were occupied by, intellectually responsible persons. At the same time, I must concede that those letter writers and wagglers are quite as American in their acts as those early settlers who drowned our forebears in the ponds of Salem, Massachusetts. They follow an ancient custom.
Gifford Pinchot and American Forestry
By now you must have some of the flavor, and most of you will have thought of a few other horrible examples that we could catalogue. So enough of that. Let's go to chapter two and consider Gifford Pinchot. He was to American forestry what Wait Whitman was to American literature. As Walt Whitman, a few years earlier, had created an American literature, so Gifford Pinchot turned his back on Europe and created an American forestry profession, aimed at bringing the unique American forests to the perpetual service of the American people. Through his example, followed by his speeches and writings, he attracted a body of thoughtful and vigorous believers.
His rise was meteoric. After President Harrison in 1891 created the first Forest Reserves,18 conservationists were concerned. The reserves were neither protected from wildfire nor could their products be lawfully used.19 So the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the Interior Department created a six-man commission to recommend additional reserves that should be created and how the reserves could be both protected from destruction and used by the American people.20 Young Pinchot was the only member of that commission who was not a member of the academy.21
Pinchot was unwilling to recommend the creation of still more reserves until the commission buckled down to the problem of how to administer them.22 Pinchot's advice was not taken and a list of proposed new reserves was quietly delivered to President Cleveland. Cleveland was a Buffalo, New York, lawyer who became governor of his state and then President. He knew little of the West and nothing about forestry. So in a spirit of amiability he kept the list secret until February 22, 1897, when with glowing words he presented the nation with a Washington's Birthday present - 13 more Reserves.23
Instantly the West erupted. The Congress was forced into a debate as to whether the entire system of reserves should be revoked. That was the core of the great 1897 congressional debate.24 Those of you who have read the courts' opinions in the Monongahela case25 may be surprised to know that the erudition there displayed about the congressional debates referred almost entirely to earlier debates before other congressmen about bills that previous Congresses did not enact. Anyway, the 1897 Act for the administration of the reserves was passed and signed into law.26
The next day, the Secretary of the Interior asked Pinchot to travel over the new reserves, advise on needed boundary revisions, and make recommendations for their staffing and use.27 His lengthy and detailed report was soon finished and then published by the Senate as an official Senate document.28
On five of the thirteen new reserves - The Big Horn, The Cascade Range, The Lewis and Clark, The White River Plateau, and The Flathead - Pinchot recommended clear-cutting.29 Pinchot even wanted to cut young trees. On The Black Hills Reserve, where the western yellow pine averaged 18 inches stump diameter, he recommended a selective cut down to a 12-inch diameter.30
So there was Pinchot in 1898 recommending not only the harvesting of immature trees but - heaven forfend - clear-cutting.
And he was a hero. By 1905, Congress was looking into forestry once again. It was Pinchot, represented by then-lawyer Brandeis, who carried the day for professional forestry. This close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt was treated by the newspapers as the Lindbergh of his day.31 All honor to Pinchot. Administration of the reserves was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Pinchot was brought in to run the establishment.32 This was followed by his days at Yale and later in the public service of his native state. He was a man esteemed and honored in his own time.
What about foresters today? It is the foresters who run the public forests. It is the foresters who are making the forestry judgments for the lumber and plywood concerns - big and small. When, where, and how to harvest and regenerate is their decision. Forest mensuration and the calculation of allowable cuts is their function. Stratification of forest lands and the assignment of those lands to multiple or single uses is their function whether the forest is owned privately or publicly.
But while quibbling among yourselves over the technicalities of such matters you tend to close ranks to fend off the outsider. Sometimes there are manifestations of an intolerant elitism whereby a college degree in forestry is equated with exclusive wisdom. The social considerations and the social consequences of the election of one or another suitable alternative in forest management is thought to be the turf of forestry school graduates. Outsiders are not to tread on that turf.
Thus, the other day I sat among five or six others while a forester in the private sector, and speaking as such, besought a subcabinet member to bar housewives from serious participation in the public input sessions of one of the federal forestry agencies. Even forgetting - as I cannot - the First Amendment right to petition the government for the redress of grievances, how utterly foolish to think that forestry is or ought to be the exclusive turf of foresters.
I suppose that a lot of us in this field have some notions that we could vent on the national and international energy problem. Each of us perceives in his own way acceptable or unacceptable risks in more nuclear energy generation, sees ecological problems in the mining of coal that underlays our forest and range lands at shallow horizons, believes we should have more or less oil extracted from shale, and so on and so forth. In each area the technologists are proficient and some of them are truly gifted.
But shall we limit the national discussion to the atomic scientists and the petroleum and mining engineers? Each major technological decision by them holds major social consequences for the rest of us. I respect their technological skills. I respect their ability to describe the adjustments that must be made in our use of energy, if we adopt one or another of the various alternatives available to us. But whichever of the various possible combinations of technological alternatives is finally adopted, it will produce change in our lifestyle. My respect for even the most skillful practitioners of technology does not extend, however, to investing them with the exclusive wisdom to determine the life-style for all the rest of us or to determine what changes in our social relations are least unacceptable, given the facts and the available technological alternatives.
They don't teach that in the atomic physics courses or the geology major. They don't teach it in forestry schools, either.
And after almost a half century of watching foresters, I put that as the central reason for your fall from the grace that was Gifford Pinchot's. You confine your curricula and yourselves to forestry. And forestry is an area that is strictly bounded by trees. Remove the trees and the fiber and the foresters as a profession have no more to contribute than the rest of us. And even if you were to have much to contribute, you must understand that the rest of us also mean to contribute in our own way.33
What I am saying is that your specialty is too special, too insular, too circumscribed. You believe yourselves capable of administering a huge chunk of the surface of the United States of America with, at best, only nominal training in the historical development of the rest of the social structure. Look at the Soviet Union, for instance. It has trained its youth in technology. And so each technologist is busy doing his thing. His impact on the technologist in some other field is something for that other technologist to fret about. In its service to consumers the economic system there is a shambles. It finally reflects itself in a social system where those who dare to criticize the economic system are tucked away in some looney bin.
Harvesting the Timber Resource
Let's look at a current forestry issue. How much dollar loss, if any, shall we accept in harvesting and regenerating low site lands? Or shall we remit the Intermountain West to a park-like status? That's the way I see foresters framing the issue. The issue and the discussion is confined to forestry and forest economics. But I see the issue differently. I see a social problem of decently housing American citizens. That will require wood. It will also require governmental subsidies.
Because of the required investment, suppose that I do not harvest and regenerate low site lands. For the sake of argument, let's assume, in terms of dollars, that it will be a venture that will lose dollars. So be it.
But is it a losing venture to the economy or to society as a whole? If we do not harvest and regenerate the millions of acres of low site lands, we reduce the supply of wood on the market. That raises the price of lumber and plywood. In turn that prices more families out of the housing market. And that, of course, means more housing subsidies. I and my children pay that subsidy every 15th of April, June, September and January when we file form 1040 and its supplements. So if we take the very worst case for the low site lands, I stand the dollar loss incurred if we do harvest and regenerate them. But I also stand the dollar loss in terms of increased housing subsidy if we do not harvest and regenerate them.
If we do not harvest them, I have a few million more acres of wilderness which the privileged among our youth may choose for the solitude he believes he needs to discover who he really is. If we do harvest and regenerate those lands, I get for my dollars all the amenities of multiple use. I get the perpetual regeneration of game herds and the full avian spectrum. I get the middle-aged husband and wife into the woods with their brood, and I put more people with more dignity into more housing.
Now let me make two points. First, the current argument over whether low site lands will or will not return the costs of harvesting and regeneration treats only the forestry part of the issue. It does not address itself to the totality of the problem. Even if you adduce some generally agreed upon answers to the problem as you have defined it, the basic issue as I have defined it will remain unresolved. Yet the problem as I have defined it is within the area of the expertise of your profession. Unless you redefine the problem, one more occasion will hove passed where you could have asserted leadership in a problem that troubles some of us and that I believe others sense but have not yet articulated. Pinchot, on the other band, in his day was quick to understand and patient in explaining to people the full consequences of the forestry decisions that he advocated or made. Pinchot led people - foresters and laymen alike.
Second point. You are waiting for me to surprise you. Out of some economic hat, you imagine that I shall extract the digits and decimal points relevant to the balancing of subsidized harvesting and regeneration of low site lands versus increased subsidization of housing.
The surprise is that I have no such digits, no such decimal points. I am a lawyer. Besides law books and American social, political, and economic history, I read newspapers. Occasionally, I watch TV. Daily I look at a mass of forestry material, and over a few months span I listen to a lot of foresters. Never have I heard or seen those digits or decimal points. Nor am I suggesting that they exist. In deference to forestry scholarship, however, I am willing to assume that they may be deposited in the library of some academic institution. But they are certainly not out among us who are the public - among what H. L. Mencken called the Great Unwashed.
Pinchot began as one young man determined to persuade the American people in their own terms of the rightness of his cause. His once popular cause still ought to be a popular cause. Causes are things that grip the imaginations of people because they show them a route to the attainment of a good that they basically sense but do not clearly articulate. But they do sense it.
Unlike Pinchot, you seem to be somewhat insensitive to their sensitivity. We Great Unwashed are obviously not swooning over your academic degrees. Those degrees tell us only that you have fulfilled a course of study prescribed by your elders. You have identified the bark and calculated the cost of felling a tree and sawing or peeling the bole. Your forest economists can reasonably estimate the cost of regeneration through one rotation. And they do well in forecasting short- and long-range profitability.
But wood is a basic necessity in our society. How shall we relate wood growing and wood using to the changing society? What shall we need and how can we induce people to understand and agree with our notions of what is now good and what is likely to be good on some far away tomorrow? You must, it seems to me, be better equipped to understand people and to sense - not know merely intellectually - but to sense what they perceive to be their problems. Where should wood fit in tomorrow's scheme of things?
Go backwards, for example, one high site, Douglas-fir rotation to 1900. William McKinley, propelled by Mark Hanna, had just buried free silver. The Hapsburgs had brought the Golden Age to Austria-Hungary and the Hohenzollerns with Bismark's help had consolidated the German States into a stabilizing force in Europe. Woodrow Wilson was teaching school; Warren Harding was running a newspaper in Marion, Ohio; Calvin Coolidge - then as now - was somebody we never heard of; Herbert Hoover was engineering some place; FDR was going to school; Harry Truman was a kid both depressed and challenged by poor eyesight; and so on ad infinitum.
But you say that we must, for better or for worse, make some projections that will give us an estimate of the cost of regenerating low site lands. I agree. I also believe we must look at the housing problem and similarly estimate both its quantitative and economic and social magnitude. The quantitative estimate for the next third of a century is not too difficult to make. Today's year-old infant in 30 years will be 31 years old. That is typically the time of family formation. And so the RPA Assessment of 197534 estimated the projected magnitude within a reasonable range of probability.
But even the RPA Assessment did not go deeply enough to enable us to compare or contrast any dollar loss in harvesting and regenerating low site lands with the dollars all of us may otherwise pay for increased housing subsidy. What I am saying is that there possibly may be a dollar loss whether we do or do not harvest and regenerate our low site lands. We may possibly have an option as to whether to take our loss at the origin of the stream of commerce or at the far end of that stream. And until we generate pretty good digits on potential losses at the far end of the stream of commerce, I don't believe that we are in a position to make decisions in the matter.
Of course, if we must take the dollar loss at one or the other end of the stream, what do I buy with the lost dollars? At the originating end, I have a forest that produces big game as well as trees, that is opened to full family recreation, that stops accumulating on the forest floor the kind of material that enhances the risk of catastrophic wildfire, that does not drop its dead trees across streams that now sustain fish and so on and so forth. You know that litany better than I do. On the other hand this would not contribute to the emotional fulfillment of the youthful wilderness user we mentioned earlier.
At the concluding end of the stream of commerce my subsidizing dollar buys some housing for a family in a context that in some degree must diminish human dignity. And it is the quest for human dignity that fundamentally keeps alive the spirit of the American Revolution.
I do not mean to suggest that the handling of low site lands is the Most important problem that faces you. I cite it only as illustrative of the narrow scope of the concern of technologists - here excellent foresters. The manner in which a problem is defined tends to shape the answer. That is what troubles me.
Forestry and Leadership
Those of you who hope to be members of the forestry profession must broaden your learning and social horizons as a basis for defining problems, forming judgments, and leading the rest of us.
So far as forestry is concerned, in the last dozen years the national leadership in the field seems to have passed to groups that by and large are technological illiterates but gifted in the art of using words. To the mass of people they have depicted themselves as the messiahs of a new cult whose gods will rid our forests of the forester's witchcraft.
Fortunately, they have no lock on leadership. Boastful delay of the Alaska pipeline while frozen old ladies were toted from their Maine cabins on TV news helped their cause not at all. A three-inch member of the perch family - the Snail Darter - which has stopped the final stages of completion of admit on which $90 million has been spent, also strikes at their leadership position. Proposals to add 20 snails and goodness knows how many obscure plants to the ever-lengthening lists of endangered and threatened species foretells further undermining of their leadership posture.
Thus they are making room for others to furnish the kind of leadership that Gifford Pinchot supplied.
Somebody will fill that role. The nation will suffer if you are not ready to assume it. But if you are to step into the leadership role and, what is more vital, to maintain the leadership role, I think you have to broaden your perspective and deepen your knowledge of this nation, its social and economic history, and its people.
The acquisition of sophisticated and impressive occupational skills is no longer enough. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard tells us: "At the moment, to be an educated man or woman doesn't mean anything. It may mean that you have designed your own curriculum; it may mean that you know all about urban this or rural that. But there is no common denominator.... The world has become a Tower of Babel in which we have lost the possibility of shared discourse...."35
In the pursuit of your remarkable scientific and technological knowledge, you have increasingly lost the ability to comprehend the problems and the values that the American people sense when they think of America's forest resource. It is basically for this reason that I think the leadership in forestry judgments has been usurped by those who would make you today's descendants of the ladies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
And so I urge you to broaden and to deepen your learning and thereby to enlarge your perspectives so that once again forestry will be a profession that relates more fully to the rest of us. Then surely you will regain the acknowledged leadership that Pinchot had. And you will no longer be the daughters and sons of the witches.
1 Calif. Statutes 1919, c. 188, p. 281.
2 Whitney v. People of the State of California, 274 U.S. 357, 376 (1917).
3 Alpine Lakes Protection Society v. Butz, Civil No. 3957, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (1973).
4 Alpine Lakes Protection Society v. Schlapfer, 518 F.2d 1089 (9th Cir., 1975).
5 16 U.S.C. § 1134.
6 Assessment (Draft), The Renewable Resources - An Assessment, 1975; U.S. Forest Service, August 1975, at pp. 63, 68, 124 (hereafter cited as Draft Assessment).
7 Draft Assessment, pp. 102, 122.
8 Draft Assessment, p. 63.
9 Draft Assessment, p. 123.
10 Annual Report of the President, Yale University, June 28, 1975.
11 Draft Assessment, p. 123.
12 Draft Assessment, p. 64.
13 Draft Assessment, pp. 68, 124.
14 42 U.S.C. §§ 1441, 1441a.
15 The addressee also inserted this letter into the Congressional Record of March 21, 1977, at page E1642. As of the date of this paper, the House Congressional Hearings at which the letter underwent its repetitive wagglings have not been published. Unless, the hearing transcript is subjected to severe editing, the transcript will probably reflect to the reader the eerie, McCartheyesque aura of the episode.
16 United States v. Cascadia Lumber Comport, Crim. No. 64-13 (D.Or. 1964).
17 United States v. Champion International Corporation, Crim. No. 74-698 (D.Or. 1975).
18 26 Stat. 1103.
19 John Ise, The United States Forest Policy (Yale University Press, 1920) at pp. 128-129 (hereafter cited as Ise).
20 Pinchot, Breaking New Ground (Harcourt, Brace and Com-pany, 1947) at pp. 86-104 (hereafter cited as Pinchot).
21 Pinchot, p. 92
22 Pinchot, pp. 105-108.
23 Ise, p. 129.
24 Ise. pp. 1-13, 137.
25 West Virginia Division of Izaak Walton League of America v. Butz, 367 F. Supp. 422 (N.D.W.Va. 1973), aff'd. 522 F.2d 945 (4th Cir. 1975).
26 Ise, pp. 137, 141; 30 Star. 34, et sec.
27 Pinchot, p. 123.
28 S. Doc. No. 189, 55th Cong., 2d Sess. (1898) at pp. 1, 2, 35-118 (hereafter cited as S. Doe.).
29 S. Doc. pp. 50, 53, 69, 74, 78, 79, 91, 83, 115, 117.
30 S. Doe. pp. 60, 61.
31 See. for example, Pinchot, pp. 437, 451-458.
32 Pinchot, pp. 256-262.
33 I do not mean to infer that foresters are the only group working in or concerned with the environmental area who believe that technical proficiency is identical with wisdom.
"[T]he giants of the oil and gas industry" asserted that the Secretary of the Interior had violated the National Environmental Policy Act when he sought to terminate the plaintiffs' contracts to sell helium. The helium was physically allied with natural gas being produced. Either the Government had to purchase the helium so produced or it would be flared into the atmosphere. The Government challenged the right of the companies to raise the ecological issue. The Court conceded that it was "passing strange to see the giants of the oil and gas industry representing the public interest" since "the magnitude of their own private interests are manifestly opposed to the interests of the public." The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit tersely observed:
"True, the plaintiffs are not primarily devoted to ecological improvement, but they are not on this account disqualified from seeking to advance such an interest. No group has a monopoly on working for the public interest." National Helium Corporation v. Morton, 455 F. 2d 650 (10th Cir. 1971).
34 See n. 6, above.
35 As quoted in the Yale Alumni Magazine, Feb. 1977, at p. 7.
Introducing: Leonard B. Netzorg
Leonard B. Netzorg is an attorney, most of whose practice has been devoted to legal aspects of forestry and resource programs and who, therefore, has been concerned with problems in forest and resource conservation.
Mr. Netzorg is a native of Ohio who attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale College, and Yale Law School. He began the practice of Jaw in Detroit, where he represented a major national labor union in its formative years.
In 1939 Mr. Netzorg became associated with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D. C. He was involved with the legal ramifications of a federal program that sought to restore economic health to the bituminous coal industry.
During World War II, Mr. Netzorg served in an intelligence unit in the combat zone of the European Theater of Operations. At the conclusion of hostilities he returned to the Department of the Interior, working in the Office of the Solicitor.
In 1948, he joined the Bureau of Land Management with offices in Portland, Oregon, where he assisted in revamping that agency's timber program on the O & C lands. This encompassed such matters as the creation of a system of reciprocal access, giving advance public notice of annual timber sale plans, casing of terms of payment for timber sales, abolition of a system whereby sales are made upon application, and the installation of a system of sale planning with the participation of small, broad-based advisory committees of outstanding citizens of the state of Oregon. In 1952, he returned to Washington for an assignment with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, where he had responsibility for the legal aspects of all resource programs.
Since 1955, Mr. Netzorg has been engaged in the private practice of law in Portland, Oregon. His practice has been limited to matters pertaining to federal timber throughout the West. This involves not only the legal aspects, but such matters as policy, public finance, legislation, and agency regulations and manuals