This collection includes seven interviews detailing forest issues such as ecosystem management policy especially as it relates to the spotted owl controversy. The interviews were conducted in 1997 and 1998 by Rick Freeman. The interviewees discuss land use and resource management, the history of ecosystem management and the role of political pressure on policy development. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 370 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula.
This collection includes 7 interviews.
Dale Robertson explains his role in the formation of the New Perspectives policy, particularly Jerry Franklin’s influence on his decisions. He discusses the controversy in Washington over the new policy, stemming largely from the fact that the decision to implement was made, according to Robertson, less out of scientific research than political pressure. He mentions Bill Riley, Clayton Yeutter and Hal Salwasser.
George Leonard reflects on his role in the formation of the New Perspectives policy in the early 1990s. He discusses a few pieces of key legislation that sparked the move towards New Perspectives and the impetus for new policy-making provided by the burgeoning timber sale program and consequent opposition. Leonard finishes with a few promising leads for further research on the history of ecosystem management. Interview conducted by telephone.
Hal Salwasser discusses the evolution of the Ecosystem Management policy of the 1990s, particularly in respect to how it differs from the New Perspectives policy. He mentions Jim Caplan and Dale Robertson. Salwasser describes the role of the George H. Bush administration’s role in the policy-making process.
Jack Ward Thomas
Jack Ward Thomas discusses his role in FEMAT (Forest Ecosystem Management Team) during the policy-changing phase. He covers the difficulties in balancing interests and agencies in depth.
Franklin elaborates on ecosystem management and its actual nature as an adaptive management policy. He references articles published in professional forestry journals and reflects on the development of his personal philosophy regarding land and resource management. The interview includes an index of key terms mentioned. Interview conducted by telephone.
John Gordon describes the political processes behind ecosystem management’s implementation. He explains the interests of the so-called “Gang of Four” and specialized interests of other agencies and researchers. He offers his opinion on the relationship between ecosystem management and the Endangered Species Act. Archives and Special Collections only holds the transcript for this interview, not the audio.
Stephen Yaffee discusses internal discussions in the U.S. Forest Service at the time of ecosystem management’s implementation. He explains the “scientific base” for the decision and how that scientific knowledge was managed. He alludes to the difficulties of moving policy through the hierarchy of the Forest Service, shifting in this way into some history of the agency. He mentions key legislation including NEMA, NFMA (National Forest Management Act of 1976), and FORPLAN (FORest PLANning).