|A PRODUCTIVE PAST AND DESIRED FUTURE FOR THE SUSTAINABLE
FORESTRY PARTNERSHIP AT OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
I. History and purpose
The Sustainable Forestry Partnership (SFP) grew out of a multidisciplinary discussion group of Oregon State University faculty from several departments who got together informally to talk about sustainable forestry research. The Partnership was formalized in 1995 under a seed grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Its mission is to document and promote innovation in sustainable forestry and to help others integrate this innovation broadly into both policy and practice.
The Partnership’s activities at OSU are coordinated by the Associate Director (0.75 FTE). A Core Team consisting of faculty and students form the Colleges of Forestry and Business provides guidance.
The Partnership at OSU has been joined by three other institutional partners: Pennsylvania State University, Auburn University, and the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES).
Since its inception, the Partnership has operated entirely on grant funds, and the voluntary efforts of faculty and students. It is our belief that past and potential future accomplishments merit it a place in the College of Forestry’s core funding structure.
The purpose of this document is to summarize past accomplishments, current activities, and future goals of the Sustainable Forestry Partnership at OSU, and to outline a desired staffing and budget structure for SFP.
II. Activities and Accomplishments
Participants in the SFP at OSU have included:
College of Forestry: Steve Radosevich, Eric Hansen, Scott Reed, John Bliss, Bill Emmingham, Steve Daniels, Rick Fletcher, Gail Wells
College of Business: Steve Lawton, Jim McAlexander
College of Liberal Arts: Peter List, Sheila Cordray, Dick Clinton, and Lori Cramer
COF Students: Autumn Bryant, Ashley Rohrbach, Nancy Boriak, Shorna Broussard, Troy Smith, Mark Rickenbach, Elissa Easley, Ben Swartley, and Darin Stringer
2. External: New Partners
In addition to its formal partners, the SFP has informal linkages with many universities across the United States including, University of Florida at Gainesville, University of Oregon, University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, University of Minnesota, Montana State University, University of Montana, University of Vermont, University of Washington, and the Sustainable Development Institute at Washington State University. International collaborators have included, University of Helsinki, Finland; BOKU, Austria; University de Austral, Chile; University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; CIEFAP, Argentina; Canterbury College, New Zealand; College of New Caledonia, Canada. These associations have involved a wide range of research and educational projects such as faculty visits, lectures, case studies, discovery seminars, and continuing education workshops.
B. Non-University Collaborations
To have impact beyond the university community, the Partnership has collaborated with more than 40 public and private organizations. Some examples include:
Assisting the American Forest Foundation with preparation of materials and training for its nationwide Tree Farm certification program.
Helping the Asia-Pacific Economic Consortium link Pacific Rim forest product development with Oregon companies.
Providing CEFOR, a Chilean research consortium with information on carbon sequestration concepts and programs.
Cosponsoring a “walk in the woods” program for architects and builders with the Rogue Institute for Ecology and Economy.
Providing leadership for development of an oak-savanna restoration plan for the Fort Hoskins historical park.
Writing a publication on restoration of the Willamette Valley race of ponderosa pine in conjunction with the Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association.
Assisting Sustainable Northwest with a forestry community assistance project in Lakeview, Oregon.
Providing insight and ideas to the Coastal Rainforest Coalition in their strategic planning process for their market campaigns.
Review and editing for the National Forestry Association in their development of the Green Tag forestry certification program.
Development of teaching materials for certification systems training in cooperation with Bioforest Technologies, a Canadian forestry services company.
Assisting the SmartWood network with three forest assessments.
Distributing literature on certification for the Forest Stewardship Council, American Forest and Paper Association, SmartWood, Scientific Certification Systems, and the Certified Forest Products Council.
C. Educational Materials
1. Sustainable Forestry Case Studies:
Sample Case Studies:
4. Journal articles:
Example Journal Articles:
Hansen, Eric and John Punches. 1999. Collins Pine: Developing Markets for Certified Forest Products. Forest Products Journal. 49(1):30-35.
Fletcher, Rick and Eric Hansen. 1999. Forest Certification Trends in North America and Europe. Zealand Journal of Forestry. 44(2):4-6.
Lindstrom, Tommy, Eric Hansen, and Heikki Julin. 1999. Forest Certification: The View from Europe’s NIPFs. Journal of Forestry 97(3):25-30.
Hansen, Eric, Rick Fletcher, and James McAlexander. 1998. Sustainable Forestry, Swedish Style, for Europe’s Greening Market. Journal of Forestry 96(3):38-43.
5. Sustainable Forestry Partnership core team members have also participated in other publications including:
Special Forest Products – Biodiversity Meets the Marketplace, GTR-WO-63, Nan Vance, and Jane Thomas, editors, USDA-Forest Service, Washington DC, Oct. 1997, 163 pages (SFP cosponsor).
Sustaining Profits and Forests – The Business of Sustainable Forestry, Joost Polak, MacArthur Foundation, 1997, 32 pages (SFP participation in report preparation).
Understanding Forest Certification, FS 329, Eric Hansen, OSU Extension Service, May 1998, 2 pages.
D. Educational Programs
Since 1997 the SFP has offered extended education programs capturing innovations in sustainable forestry. These programs have helped the forest landowners, companies and forestry organizations stay abreast of developments in sustainable forestry and marketing.
1. Professional seminars. Offered periodically, these 1-3 day programs, which are taught by OSU Core Team members and other experts, generally target career professionals in forestry and wood products.
a. Managing Forest Ecosystems (1997)
2. Two programs have been offered for senior forest-industry managers. The first was a daylong field tour of The Collins Companies’ certified forestry operations in Lakeview, Oregon. The second was a discussion meeting of forestry CEO’s as part of an environmental marketing conference in Portland, Oregon.
3. Presentations on forest certification and other topics in sustainability. Over the past 3 years, SFP core team members Rick Fletcher and Eric Hansen have made more than 50 presentations to professional groups throughout the United States, Canada and Europe on the topics of forest certification and worldwide wood supply. A sampling of groups and topics include:
Hansen, Eric and Rick Fletcher. Risk and Opportunity in Relationship to Environmental Certification. 2000 New Zealand Institute of Forestry Conference. Christchurch, New Zealand. April 17-19, 2000.
Fletcher, Rick. Forest Certification Systems. Society of American Foresters, Capital Chapter Meeting, Salem, Oregon. April 10, 2000.
Fletcher, Rick and Eric Hansen. Worldwide Wood Supply. Tree School. Oregon City, Oregon, April 17, 1999 and April 1, 2000.
Hansen, Eric. Forest and Product Certification. APA – The Engineered Wood Association, Western Region Plywood Forum. Vancouver, WA. March 14-15, 2000.
Fletcher, Rick, Dubois, M and Washburn, M. Forest Certification for Private Forest Owners in Alabama. Opelika, Alabama, December 1999.
Fletcher, Rick and Washburn, M. Forest Certification for the Private Forest Owner. Society of American Foresters, National Convention, September 1999.
Fletcher, Rick. Certification of Forests and Forest Products. Oregon Society of CPA’s. Eugene, Oregon. June 1999.
Hansen, Eric. Forest Certification and its Role in Global Marketing Strategy. Institute of Chartered Foresters Annual Meeting. York, England. April 9-11, 1999.
Hansen, Eric. Current Developments in Forest Certification. The 27th Annual Wood Technology Clinic and Show. Portland, Oregon. March 24-26, 1999.
Hansen, Eric and Rick Fletcher. Certification Initiatives. WSU & UI sponsored NIPF Workshop. Post Falls, Idaho. January 2, 1999.
Hansen, Eric. Certification and Similar Systems in Europe – An Outsider’s Perspective. Informal EU-Workshop on Certification of Sustainable Forest Management and Labeling of Timber and Timber Products. Vienna-Grob Enzersdorf, Austria. December 10-11, 1998.
4. OSU courses in aspects of sustainability in the Colleges of Forestry, Liberal Arts and Business.
Courses participated in to date:
E. Outreach and Leadership
1. One of the Partnership’s first outreach efforts was a two-day conference on sustainable forestry at Triangle Lake, OR, in December of 1997. The purpose of the gathering was to foster cross-university discussion of the multi-faceted topic of sustainability. The SFP commissioned essays on contemporary sustainable forestry topics from teams of faculty in the Colleges of Forestry, Business, Science and Liberal Arts. Faculty presentations of the essays was followed by thoughtful discussion amongs the diverse array of participants.
2. In November 1997, the Partnership co-sponsored the National Conference on Sustainability at Skamania Lodge, WA. About 80 forestry and natural resource educators attended, along with sustainable forestry innovation leaders.
3. The Partnership has, since its beginning, sponsored seminars on contemporary issues in sustainable forestry. An initial program in 1996 featured a series of speakers on forest certification. Another early series focused on special forest product issues. Currently, an ongoing series of Discovery Seminars and less-formal Brown-Bag Discussions is being held on the OSU campus throughout the school year. These activities keep the campus community linked with current developments in sustainable forestry elsewhere. They also foster important cross campus collaboration on the complex issues associated with managing forested landscapes in sustainable ways.
Example Discovery Seminar and Brown Bag Discussion Topics:
4. During November 1997, the SFP sponsored a national gathering of forestry educators around the topic of forestry certification assessor training needs. The 14 participants, representing all regions of the United States laid the groundwork for important collaborations on forest certification education.
F. Policy engagement
The Partnership is becoming known for its contributions to the formation of policy about sustainable forestry. Partnership faculty are called upon frequently to teach courses on certification and to participate in discussions of verifying sustainability. During the past 5 years, SFP principles have testified before and presented policy options to the State Land Board, OSU Forest Research Laboratory Advisory Board, Northwest Area Foundation, Board of Forestry, and they have prepared briefing documents for an Oregon Governor’s Trade Mission to Europe. SFP members will continue to engage government and private organizations in integration of sustainable forestry innovations into practice.
G. Sustainable Forestry Research Project
III. Current and Future Initiatives
1. Sustainable forestry teaching case studies and training for OSU faculty. This project will match case writers with teaching faculty to create case studies for use in current and future natural resource and business courses. The SFP will also sponsor faculty participation in case study teaching skill seminars. This project is one part of a larger endeavor of the nationwide SFP network, which seeks to interject sustainable forestry concepts into forestry education.
2. An Interactive Web “virtual tour” of demonstration forests, in cooperation with our partner institutions and the Society of American Foresters. When completed, the virtual tours will allow natural resource professionals and others to tour demonstration forests around the United States and learn about evolving sustainable forestry principles and practices. The first tour is being created using OSU’s McDonald-Dunn forest as a subject. Others are being developed at Auburn University, Penn State University, and through collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara.
3. A Sustainable Institute for a summer course offering at Oregon State University. This several week for credit program will feature sustainability thinking and concepts from natural resource, political science and sociological disciplines.
4. Comparative Certification Systems Research: A study comparing standards and procedures employed by FSC and SFI certification systems compared to Oregon’s Forest Practices Act has been proposed by Oregon Department of Forestry. If funded, the project, and another one to create a comparative case of forest practices will provide forest owners and managers the ability to compare these systems and better understand similarities and differences.
5. Sustainable Forestry Discovery Seminars and Brown Bag Discussions: SFP sponsored discovery seminars have been offered since creation of the Partnership. Seminars currently planned for 2001 will center on better definition of sustainable forestry and the associated issues. The series will be kicked off on January 17th, with a presentation and discussion involving Jim Brown and Hal Salwasser. Discovery seminars following will highlight topics and issues identified in the January 17th session. In addition, a series of faculty/student lunchtime discussions is planned for winter and spring quarters 2001. These activities keep the campus community linked with developments in sustainable forestry application elsewhere. They also foster important cross campus collaboration on the complex issues associated with managing forested landscapes in sustainable ways.
6. Sustainable Forestry Graduate Curriculum: On the nationwide level, the SFP has begin a project to investigate opportunities to develop curriculum on sustainable forestry at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The project will involve NAPFSC and a number of prominent universities throughout the United States. OSU’s coordinated for this project has been identified as Becky Johnson, with interest from Ed Jensen and Jim Boyle.
IV. Proposal for support for FY July 2000-June 2001, and beyond.
Preferred: Associate Director 1.0 FTE
Other options discussed:
C. Funding Options:
Short term: (July 2000-June 2001):
1. Project charges (i.e. SAF project, curriculum)
1. Reassignment of FTE within COF
D. Recommended action
1. Secure funding to continue support for the Associate Director and
Administrative Assistant for FY 2000-2001.
V. OSU-Sustainable Forestry Partnership Core Team as of November 2000
Forest Resources Department: John Bliss, Rick Fletcher, Elissa Easley,