CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Siuslaw National Forest has seen a transition from timber production to restoration ecology and has now hit a “sweet spot” that combines both, says Jim Furnish, former supervisor of the Siuslaw and retired deputy chief with the U.S. Forest Service. Furnish describes his own journey during the tumultuous decades of the Northwest timber wars in a new book, Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition, published this spring by the OSU Press.
In the 1990s, the Forest Service took a “radical departure” from its emphasis on timber to other priorities, Furnish said. “My memoir relates the journey from despair to hope, building a new forestry paradigm based on restoring naturalness to a landscape,” he wrote on an OSU Press blog, “Future of the Forest.”
On April 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Furnish will participate in a panel discussion on the dramatic shift in forest management. The meeting is open to the public and will include the premier showing of a new 25-minute documentary, Seeing the Forest, by independent journalist and filmmaker Alan Honick of Seattle.
In addition to Furnish, panelists will include Jerry Ingersoll, supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest; Norm Johnson, distinguished professor of forestry at Oregon State University; and Chandra LeGue, Western Oregon field coordinator of Oregon Wild. Gordon Grant, research hydrologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Lab, will moderate.
Furnish will have copies of his book available for sale through the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Library.
He is a consulting forester in the Washington, D.C., area following a 34-year career with the Forest Service. He was instrumental in creating the roadless area conservation rule and garnering support for a policy that favored restoration over timber production in the Siuslaw National Forest.
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