Working Forests Need a Makeover

By: Amos S. Eno
Posted on:06/06/2012

Forests Managed for Timber, Wildlife, and other Values Need Marketing that Goes Beyond Smokey Bear and Grizzly Bears

Working forests, not wilderness areas and parks, are the foundation of our prosperity in the 21st century.  I, Amos Eno, truly believe that.

Pinchot, in his book The Fight for Conservation laid out his three Principles of Conservation:  “The first great fact about conservation is that it stands for development.”  Not housing developments; he is referring to utilizable forest.  

“In the second place, conservation stands for the prevention of waste…”. 
Most of our western forests today are a gross waste.  They suffer from a century of fire protection (Smokey Bear is well-intentioned, but a form of ecological seppuku in the real world) and an overburden of regulation that has turned once glorious forests into tinder kegs of off-limits timber.  

“The third principle is this; the natural resources must be developed and preserved for the benefit of the many, and not merely the profit of a few.”  Times have changed - today we may not need to protect our forest resources from the clear-cutting timber barons of yore as much from a profound lack of understanding about forestry and forest ecology on the part of urban societies.    

Pinchot concluded his principles with two sweeping statements that I have always liked.  First, “Conservation is the application of common sense to common problems for the common good.”  Simple, direct, and leaves a lot of leeway for on the ground application.  And, second “The success of the conservation movement in the United States depends in the end on the understanding the women have of it.”  I have always believed that.  
When I ran the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, 65% of my staff was female.  The number one market audience that industrial and non-industrial foresters need to target, reach out to, and gain more understanding of, is the women of the United States.  Try building a program to promote working forest awareness in the U.S. similar to the new Farmers and Ranchers Alliance supported by the American Farm Bureau and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.   

There are some very exciting things happening in forestry around the country today - both in terms of ecological management and long-term protection from development.  We’ve tried to highlight some of these stories in this blog.  But honestly, this is a campaign that cries out for star chic, social buzz and professional marketing.  And soon.


re: Working Forests Need a Makeover
By: Margaret Mills on: 07/11/2012

Very good points. Have thought this for some time. MS

re: Working Forests Need a Makeover
By: Greetings on: 06/14/2012

I came across your blog today and was happy to find that there is someone else out there writing about "profound lack of understanding about forestry" and forestry's need for an effective "marketing campaign." Keep up the good work. - JS