Willamette Conference Addresses Future of Northwest Forest Plan

A collection of some of the nation's most knowledgeable environmentalists and forest policy stakeholders will gather at Willamette University in Salem Wednesday, Sept. 25, for an all-day conference on issues relating to forests in the Pacific Northwest.

The goal of the conference is to examine current forest management policy and how these policies are impacted by science and politics.

Among the luminaries scheduled to speak are Gov. John Kitzhaber; Jack Ward Thomas, former head of the U.S. Forest Service; Bruce Babbitt; former Secretary of the Interior; and Mark Rey, current USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment.

The conference runs from 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. in the Cat Cavern on the second floor of the University Center. Registration is required. At 8 p.m., Bruce Babbitt will deliver the 2002 Dempsey Lecture in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette. The lecture is free and seating is limited.

The conference and lecture are made possible by the Dempsey Foundation and are hosted by the Willamette University Public Policy Research Center and the Department of Earth and Environmental Science.

Conference schedule and list of presenters for Sept. 25:

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Registration and buffet, Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center

11:45 a.m. - Keynote Address: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Cat Cavern

12:45 to 2 p.m. - Main Session: "What is Sustainable Forestry?" Cat Cavern

Panelists: John Beuter, president, Umpqua-Tualatin, Inc.; David Perry, program director, Land Restoration, Malama Kukui Cultural Learning Center (Hawaii); professor emeritus, ecosystem studies and ecosystem management, Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University; Roger Sedjo, natural resources economist, Resources for the Future; Jack Ward Thomas, professor of wildlife conservation, University of Montana; former head of the U.S. Forest Service.

2:15 to 3:30 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions:

"Science and Policymaking," Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center
Panelists: Deborah Brosnan, Ph.D., president of the Sustainable Ecosystems Institute; Ronald Mitchell, professor, political science, University of Oregon; Dan Rohlf, associate professor, Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College; Fred Swanson, research geologist, USFS Pacific NW Research Station; professor of forest science and geoscience, OSU.

"Endangered Species," Alumni Lounge, Putnam University Center
Panelists: Steve Ackers, wildlife ecologist, Oregon State University; Susan Jane Brown, executive director, Gifford Pinchot Task Force; Stephanie Parent, Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College; Richard Stroup, senior associate, PERC-The Center for Free Market Environmentalism.

3:45 to 4:30 p.m. - Closing Panel: "The Future and Challenges of the Northwest Forest Plan," Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center

Panelists: Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior; Mark Rey, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment; Margaret Shannon, associate professor, University of Buffalo (NY) Law School; Jack Ward Thomas, former head of the USFS and professor, University of Montana, Missoula.

4:45 to 5:45 p.m. - Post Conference Events: "People and Forests: Diverse Perspectives on Sustaining Forests in the Pacific Northwest," a presentation by Steve Mital, service learning coordinator, University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program, Alumni Lounge, Putnam University Center

8 p.m. - Dempsey Lecture by Bruce Babbitt in Hudson Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Conference registration is required before Sept. 16. Seating is limited. Fees are $5 for students; $40 for the general public and $160 for event supporters with display space. Checks made payable to Willamette University should be mailed to the public Policy Research Center, 321 Smullin Hall, Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR, 97301. Participants may also register on line or call 503-370-6961.