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2003 – Jim Peterson

Oregon Logging Conference
Keynote Speaker 2003

Wheeler Pavilion,
Lane County Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR

jpeterson-200x268Jim Petersen
Executive Director, The Evergreen Foundation
Editor, Evergreen Magazine

Jim Petersen is the founder and editor of Evergreen Magazine, a periodic publication of the non-profit Evergreen Foundation, based in Bigfork, Montana. He also serves as the Foundation’s executive director.

The Foundation’s sole mission is to help advance public understanding and support for science-based forestry and forest policy, principally through the pages of Evergreen, one of the most widely read and respected forestry magazines in North America. Financial support for Evergreen comes from Foundation members and grants made by public and private sector non-profit organizations that share the Foundation’s commitment to science-based forestry and forestry education.

Jim is the recipient of several prestigious forestry awards. Among them: Best Forestry Public Relations Program in the Nation, American Forest & Paper Association, 1991; Whistle Punk of the Year, Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association, 1994; National Public Service Award, Association of Consulting Foresters, 1996; Outstanding Contributions to Forest Industry Education, Northeastern Loggers Association, 1999; Outstanding Forestry Activist, Forest Resources Association, western division, 2000.

Jim’s background is in journalism and public relations. He was as a newspaper reporter and editor in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Illinois from 1966 through 1972. In 1973, he established his own public relations firm, serving the needs of clients in natural resource-based industries. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and is the 4th Vice President of the Pacific Logging Congress.

Jim and his wife, Kathleen, live in Bigfork. She manages the Foundation’s office, while he concentrates on research, writing and fundraising.

Keynote address title and brief description:

If The President Calls Do You Hang Up?

President Bush is only the second President in American history to make the very direct connection between healthy forests and healthy communities. The first was Teddy Roosevelt, architect of America’s national forest system.

President Roosevelt did it in a March 1903 speech at a Society of American Foresters meeting in Washington, D.C. President Bush did it last August during a tour of southern Oregon wildfires.

While touring the fire lines he also unveiled his Healthy Forests Initiative, a sweeping proposal for modernizing environmental laws that no longer serve their original good intent.

Many believe this Initiative offers the West’s economically devastated timber communities their last best hope for ending political and legal gridlock in federal forests.

While I agree with this assessment, it is equally clear that the regulatory reforms the President is proposing will also lead to significant environmental gains on public and private forestlands all across the nation.

The President’s Initiative will no doubt, be hotly debated by members of Congress, the press and environmental groups. Its passage depends totally on our ability to marshal the persuasive powers of hundreds of grass roots coalitions that link rural and urban groups – and share a deeply felt concern for the future of forestry and forest conservation in America.

This will be a momentous undertaking. The question is, “Will rural communities, local and state governments, forest landowners, forest product manufacturers, logger, mill workers, ranchers, sportsmen and women rally around the President’s Initiative – or will they allow urban elitists and the conflict industry to continue to act in ways that endanger forest and communities?”

Stated in the simplest of terms, if the President calls, do you hang up?”