Current Policy Issues
Professionals advancing the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry for the benefit of society
Public agencies and other decision-making groups often seek input and advice from stakeholders as they evaluate forest resource issues and develop related policies and management plans. Forestry professionals sometimes are among these participants due to their affiliation with more commonly identified stakeholder groups (e.g., forest industry, forest landowners). However, these individuals are rarely called upon to represent the professional forestry perspective independent of their employer or client interests. This independence is important because when they represent these interests, forestry professionals in both the public and private sector may be unable or unwilling to offer their full and candid views about important forest issues.
The result is missed opportunities to tap highly relevant expertise and experience, as well as a limited voice for a key group that must deal directly with policies and plans shaped by stakeholders who lack the unique, independent insights of the professional forestry community.
The Professional Response
Recognizing these missed opportunities and voices, the Inland Empire Society of American Foresters (IESAF) stands able and willing to represent the professional forestry perspective when stakeholder input is sought in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. The IESAF has about 300 members and includes field foresters, researchers, administrators and educators who work for federal, state or local governments; for universities; for small and large landowners; and for small businesses and large corporations.
Although we come from “all walks of forestry,” we pledge that our professional views and other input will be consistent with the SAF mission to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.
Jay O'Laughlin, IESAF Forest Policy Committee Chair