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Values, beliefs and management of public forests in the Western world at the close of the twentieth century

A broad, introspective examination of existing and emerging core beliefs that define and direct public forest management.

J. J. Kennedy, M. P. Dombeck and N. E. Koch

James J. Kennedy is a Professor at the College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5215, USA.
Michael P. Dombeck is Chief of the USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. USA.
Niels Elers Koch is a Professor and Director of the Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute, DK-2970 Hoersholm, Denmark.
Note: This article is based on a paper by Kennedy and Dombeck, entitled The evolution of public agency beliefs and behavior toward ecosystem-based stewardship. It was presented at the conference, Toward a Scientific and Social Framework for Ecosystem-Based Management of Federal Lands and Waters, 7-14 December 1995, Tucson, AZ, USA. It was supported by the USDA Bureau of Land Management (of which M. P. Dombeck was then Acting Director and J. J. Kennedy his Special Assistant - on sabbatical from Utah State University) and by the Utah State University Agricultural Experiment Station, McIntire-Stennis Project 712 (Journal Paper No. 4860) and cooperative grants from the USDA Forest Service.

Foresters and other science-based professionals began this century largely as heroic public guardians in emerging European and United States industrial societies (Weber, 1947; Veblen, 1963). Foresters in the United States and their charismatic leader, Gifford Pinchot, patterned themselves after European colleagues. They were an important part of the United States' progressive movement, aspiring to be scientifically powerful and pure, uncorrupted by self-interest or politics and trustworthy to pursue the public good in forests - as were their progressive colleagues in hospitals, schools and laboratories (Hays, 1959; Frome, 1962).

Midway through the twentieth century, European and United States foresters were confident and rightfully proud of their contribution to their nation's economies and ecosystems (Greeley, 1951; Hasel, 1971; Steen, 1976: FAO, 1989). They provided the world much needed sustained yield conservation values, beliefs and management systems to supply dependable flows of wood and other resources for growing urban, industrial nations (Hays, 1959; Hummel, 1984; Wiersum, 1995).

As this century ends, the Western world is engaged again in a major socioeconomic transition to an urban, post-industrial, global economy and society (Drucker, 1986: Reich, 1991). Unlike the beginning of the century, there is considerable public scepticism and reevaluation of the lofty, idealistic position of forestry, legal or medical professionals - especially in the United States (Rolston and Coufal, 1991; Nelson, 1995; Hess, 1996). Many long-standing public forest and natural resources management policies and practices are being questioned. Those who care for and manage forest ecosystems (especially those that are publicly owned) are being challenged to adapt their professional values and management concepts to the increasing diversity, complexity and interdependence of ecological and human systems, to continue to be as socio-politically and environmentally effective as they were in the past (Knight and Bates, 1995).

This article offers a broad, introspective examination of existing and emerging core beliefs that define and direct public forest management (and that of many other natural resources). Although focusing on public forest management and foresters, many of the observations also apply to public and private wildlife, watershed, range, recreation or general environmental management and the associated professionals (Kennedy, Fox and Osen, 1995).

Perception and paradigm shifts in traditional forest and natural resource management beliefs

The evolving protector and use provider roles of public forest professionals

One reason why foresters and other natural resource professionals are so vulnerable to social criticism is a function of their often conflicting roles in multiple-use public land management. For they are both long-term resource protectors and providers of goods and services for citizens living today (Koch and Kennedy, 1991; Hytoenen, 1995). The Figure illustrates the general evolution of European and United States public forest managers' roles and mediating stewardship concepts (e.g. sustained yield or ecosystem-based stewardship) that attempt to link and balance these often conflicting protector-provider responsibilities.

The protector role (Figure, top row) begins with a forest conservation focus on long-term, maximum site production (i.e. maximum flows of goods and services), within sustained yield limits. This is maturing today to incorporate a more inclusive management focus on healthy, sustainable forest ecosystems themselves as well as the multiple-use output endowments, i.e. provider role (Figure, bottom row), they can bestow on current generations.

The logo of the United States Bureau of Land Management in the 1950s

FIGURE: Evolution in public resource manager roles and core management concepts a forest and rangeland focus

Sustained yield was the initial stewardship concept of early Western conservation movements (Wiersum, 1995). It constrained and balanced current societal forest use against maintenance of long-term resource productivity for future generations (Figure, middle row). In 1804 Hartig (head of the Prussian Forest Administration, Berlin) directed his foresters to manage forests to: "...utilize them to the greatest possible extent, but still in a way that future generations will have at least as much benefit as the living generation" (Schmutzenhofer, 1992, p. 3). "New forestry" (Kessler et al., 1992) and sustainable ecosystem-based stewardship in the United States (Bureau of Land Management, 1994b; USDA, 1994; Council for Environmental Quality, 1995), and the similar integrated multiple-use management (e.g. Saastamoinen et al., 1984; Hytoenen, 1995) and sustainable forest ecosystem management in Europe (e.g. Koch, 1991; UN, 1993; Government of Denmark, 1994) are evolving beyond this central sustained yield, output focus. Ensuring healthy and sustainable forest ecosystem processes is now viewed as a central management focus, rather than a constraint to a maximized stream of sustained yield outputs (Kennedy and Quigley, 1993).

Western world forests have usually been viewed as management objects of goods/service outputs for their owners/users in Europe they were initially the property of nobles and, later, of a broader segment of society (Fritzboeger and Soendergaard, 1995; Stridsberg, 1984). Many people today are beginning to view forest ecosystems as the "subject" on which humans depend for utilitarian goods and services, social and spiritual self-identity (such as loggers, hikers, birdwatchers, hunters or foresters) and other social values (Koch and Kennedy, 1991) through diverse and changing forest and human cultural relationships (Harrison, 1992; Fernand, 1995). Yet sustainable forest ecosystem management is far from an accepted, operable concept (e.g. Dixon and Fallon, 1989; President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1996). We feel that the need for economic development and ecosystem management theory and practice to evolve jointly in this direction in the twenty-first century is less open to debate (e.g. Shearman, 1990). The Western world must develop and refine these new forest relationships, meanings and management through thinking, learning from other cultures, public debate and on-site forest engagement. It is an evolving educational process and, hopefully, we have matured to the point where the forest can be the subject that teaches us, as well as being the object of our well-intended management and protection.

The role of the public land manager as a provider of goods and services has also evolved and matured beyond a focus on output quantity. Today there is more consideration of outcomes directly and indirectly generated by outputs and a greater focus on customer service (e.g. how output qualities and outcomes are perceived by and have an impact on people).

In the United States conservation movement of the 1950s, most public land customers were distant and infrequent visitors - especially in the western United States and Alaska. Public land managers helped provide water, logs, salmon, cattle and ducks for "customers" who were far away from the managers and "their" resource areas. Such customer distance, and often alienation, facilitated mechanistic production thinking and a resource management orientation as opposed to a customer service or social value orientation (Cluck, 1987; Koch and Kennedy, 1991; Kennedy and Thomas, 1995). Natural resource management today is much more of a "contact sport", as a greater number and diversity of customers are directly involved in the use and management of public lands - they increasingly come to "our" forests and challenge our traditional values and management. It has been a long and difficult evolution for many public land managers from being isolated resource protectors to engaged customer facilitators and negotiators (Fairfax and Achterman, 1977; Magill, 1988).

We envisage future evolution in public land managers' provider role as incorporating more consideration of outcomes and customer service concepts in a broad context of short- and long-term social values (Kennedy and Thomas, 1995).

Rather than physical resource manipulators, public land managers are often social value brokers and conflict management facilitators - and will become more so in the future (Hytoenen, 1995; Kennedy, Fox and Osen, 1995). This will require sustainable forestry and other natural resource management to expand beyond a biological, ecosystem focus and incorporate regional economic and socio-cultural systems that consider the human relationship aspects of forest functions and their diverse social values (Shearman, 1990; Brunson and Kennedy, 1995; Fernand, 1995).

Rather than just ecosystem management, public land management must focus more broadly on sustainable systems management (including interrelated ecological, socio-cultural and economic systems) in a collaborative or partnership relationship. The following text and tables expand and elaborate on the evolution of these public land management roles and core beliefs.

TABLE 1. Comparison of machine and organic models

First 75 years of twentieth century

Close of twentieth century

Perspective: world composed of simple, independent systems

Perspective: world composed of complex, self-organizing, highly integrated systems

Aim: reduce systems complexity by isolating and separating subsystems

Aim: understand integrated, interrelated systems organization and processes

Linear, cause-effect systems organization and processes are the norm

Multifaceted and cumulative effect, cyclical and synergistic systems relationships are the norm

Use of deductive logic and simple efficiency optimization models appropriate

Use of inductive, integrative logic and complex, inclusive simulation models appropriate

The transition from machine model to organic forest management thinking

One reason why many Western natural resource professionals and agencies are experiencing difficulty in adapting their values and management to the twenty-first century is that they have been so successful in this one (Clarke and McCool, 1985; Nelson, 1995; FAO, 1988: FAO, 1989).

Specialized agencies and professionals have generally been successful in ensuring sustained yield flows of wood, water, recreation and wildlife goods and services from public lands. Agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service grew in size, budget and socio-political support throughout the first 80 years of this century. It is not surprising that such a successful agency in the United States' industrial era had developed a "machine model" perspective in thinking and in managing its forests (and their users) and its employees (Taylor, 1957; Schiff, 1966).

Characteristics of machine model thinking

Machine model thinking approaches management by viewing the world in rather simple, segmented and linear terms as opposed to the emerging organic model perspective (Capra, 1983; Kennedy and Quigley, 1993):

Many foresters and other natural resource managers who were educated in the first 75 years of this century followed the machine model in their quest to become rational, respected adults and professionals. They were usually trained to "take control" of a complex and messy world by fragmenting it into separate, rational, manageable subsystems.

In agencies such as the USDA Forest Service, machine model thinking was manifested in many ways, including:

· a narrow forest ecosystems perception and focus (e.g. simple timber site productivity models and management);

· forest or fire management (e.g. intensively managed plantations, forest pest wars or the practice of guaranteeing "all wildfires out before 10 a.m." [Schiff, 1962]);

· modelling (e.g. a fascination with linear programming that reached its peak in the 1980s' national forest FORPLAN models);

· dichotomous thinking (e.g. timber versus non-timber resources, economic versus non-economic values);

· agency organizational structures (e.g. line staff hierarchies or narrowly defined functional responsibilities);

· organizational behaviour (e.g. unquestioned loyalty to line officers, frequent transfers of Forest Service employees with little regard for family impacts [Kennedy and Thomas, 1992]);

· relationship with the public (e.g. "educating" the uninformed public on proper, scientific national forest management; [Brunson, 1992]);

· simple views of rural economies and the role of public forestry (e.g. a sustained flow of logs will provide community employment stability [Schallau, Maki and Beuter, 1969; Gomoll and Richardson, 1996]); and

· narrowly focused research scientists and projects that were often not related to societal or management needs (National Research Council, 1990).

Forest (and other natural ecosystems) in Europe and the United States have often been conceived and managed like Henry Ford's early car (Model T) production lines (McGee, 1910). Single factor, cause-effect relationships and solutions were generally pursued by increasingly specialized professionals. Complexity and diversity were commonly viewed as the enemy. By force of intellect and will, foresters usually tried to simplify deductively, compartmentalize and dominate nature (summarized in Table 2). With the best of intentions, foresters were often educated and role-modelled to be rational, objective and independent 'omnipotent foresters" (Behan, 1966) and master machine model managers - but so were many mid-century engineers, physicians and other professionals.

For example, frequent mistrust and suspicion of forest ecosystem complexity and diversity supported a perspective of forests besieged by many hostile "entropy" forces of fire, insects, animals (deer or cattle) or even human use. Foresters felt called to protect forests from many of their internal ecosystem dynamics and external entropy forces. Given such simple mechanistic and combative ecosystem views, foresters often thought themselves capable of controlling the perceived chaos of wildfires, insects or disease (and even the increasing numbers and types of recreationists). The new technological and genetic improvements of the 1950s added to this illusion of control. The forest (arid the larger world) seemed predictable, manageable and in need of a firm hand. Public foresters at mid-century were also largely permitted both to set forest goals and choose the management options (means) - managing public forests for the European or United States public. Given mid-century social values, they generally managed these forests well arid earned public respect (Frome, 1962; Clarke and McCool, 1985).

TABLE 2. European and United States machine model views of forest and related ecosystems evolving into organic model perspectives

First 75 years of twentieth century

Close of twentieth century

Forests (shrubland, wildlife or rivers) often viewed and managed as mechanistic, factory systems

Forest ecosystems viewed more as a "great thought" than a "great machine"

Forests composed of discreet, identifiable parts with clear dimensions and boundaries

Forest ecosystems composed of interactive, interdependent subsystems with "fuzzy" boundaries (Roberts, 1995)

Primary focus on forest structure, and then on forest function or process

Traditional ecosystem structure often seen as recurring patterns in a web of ecosystem relationships
Focus on forest function or process

Understanding of component forest parts equivalent to understanding of the entire system

Understand binding and adaptive relationships (networks and processes)
Dynamic, synergistic models are a closer reflection of forest ecosystems

Mistrust and suspicion of nature's complexity, diversity and adaptability

Appreciation, respect for and partnership in nature's designs and life forces

A host of hostile and chaotic entropy forces lurk in and outside forests (e.g. tire insects, recreationists, uneducated public, predators)

Forest ecosystems are open, self-renewing systems, accustomed to many forces possibly initially perceived as disruptive and chaotic

Foresters can fully understand and dominate/control forests (as well as wildlife, wildfire or user groups)

Foresters can only hope to learn continually as part of eco- and socio-political or economic systems

TABLE 3 European and United States machine model views of forest management and managers evolving into organic model perspectives

First 75 years of twentieth century

Close of twentieth century

Common management perspective

Guiding norm: sustained yield wood, game or forage maximization (output-focused) and economic efficiency (Wiersum, 1995)

Sustainable, healthy forest systems (process-focused) for diverse changing market and non-market social values (Dixon and Fallon, 1989)

Intensively managed conifer plantations managed for control and efficiency

Diverse, multifaceted and multivalued forests (including plantations),watersheds and ecoregions managed for diverse, changing social values

Forester must heroically protect forests from hostile, entropy forces (e.g. fire, insects, vegetative competition, politics or recreational users), both within and outside the forest

Foresters and other forest mangers can help forest ecosystems be healthy and robust enough to adapt effectively to many uses and forces

Forests are objects to use, control and manage for goods/services production for humans

Healthy, enduring forest ecosystems as "subjects" of value and respect in utilitarian, symbolic, identity and other relationships with humans and their cultures

Fascination with new industrial-age technology (e.g. machines, chemicals, linear programming, genetics)

Rethinking the balance of technology in management innovation efficiency and resource use

Management era: primarily one-way, paternal flow of control from foresters to forest and other "outside" forces (including users)

Facilitation era: foresters in partnership with forests, diverse and interdisciplinary colleagues and public in collaborative socio-economic, ecological and other systems management

World is predictable: be smart, rational, plan, model and exert control

World is unpredictable: be open, aware, widely connected and adaptable

Economic growth/development model: develop capital, increase resource utilization, produce more (Rasker, 1994)

Evolution towards sustainability and community quality (quality of life) perspectives (Hymen, 1994)

Respected forester role models

Era of tough, independent, great men, omnipotent foresters (Behan, 1966) an other professional heroes (Hess, 1996)

Era of interdisciplinary teams, power sharing and forester diversify to reflect national diversity

Patronistic management: caring, knowing, benign forest expert who is "in charge"
Foresters manage forests for the people

Partnership management: foresters facilitating a more open democratic process of public involvement, customer service and broad, diverse partnerships
Manage forest ecosystems in partnership with the forest and with the people

Objective professional, educated in hard sciences and, perhaps, economics

Professional educated in traditional hard sciences balanced and strengthened with philosophy, social science or communications skills

Tendency to specialize in separate forest or ecological subsystems, often in different bureaucracies

Specialization must be linked, validated and operationalized in larger ecological, political and socio-economic systems

Time perspective

Targets: fiscal year, project horizons or stand rotation

Targets include broader, long-term view of desired future conditions

Space perspective

Focus on the forest stand

Expand to ecosystem, landscape and ecoregional spatial dimensions

Local and regional focus

Regional-national-global view

TABLE 4. Evolving European and United States forest (and other natural resource) agency assumptions, values, structures and behaviour

First 75 years of twentieth century

Close of twentieth century

Basic agency assumptions, values and beliefs

Anti-entropy imperative: design, control and manage for disruptive, chaotic forces within and outside public forest resource agencies

Open, accepting, adaptive organization: people, working as adaptable partners, can respond to legitimately complex and changing internal and external worlds

Forest conservation era: fear of vulnerability often produced an "us against almost everything combative attitude towards legitimate human nature and natural system complexities and dynamics

Collaborative conservation era: respect, cooperate with and adapt to many potentially disruptive external forces (e.g. tire insects, users or local politics) and internal forces (e.g. professional gender-ethnic diversity, reduced budgets and child care needs)

Exaggerated faith in science and scientists to illuminate public forestry's path and reveal the answers in the journey towards set goals

Science and scientists are but one set of values and skills necessary to plot agency vision or to identify, appraise, pursue and monitor panning and management options

With adequate expertise and technology, much of the forest and the world is predictable: be smart, rational, model, plan and exert control

Nature and the modem world are relatively unpredictable: be open, aware, accepting and adaptable

Traditional conservation goals: focus on forest outputs, economic development and commodity clients (e.g. loggers)

Broader, more inclusive vision and goals

Agency espouses conservation values but rewards bureaucratic loyalty, product productivity and organizational maintenance behaviour (Kennedy et al., 1992)

Recognition of and efforts to reward pursuit of agency core values (Farnham and Mohai, 1995)

Organizational design and structure

Rigid line staff organizational design (Twight, 1985) and scientific management (Schiff, 1966)

Organizational design and line staff rigidity becoming more flexible; sharing power with diverse team colleagues and partners (interagency and public)

Inform and educate era: primarily one-way, patriarchal flow of control from line managers to the resources, employees and the public

Stewardship and facilitation era: diverse, interdisciplinary colleagues and the public involved in collaborative dialogue and in sustainable planning and management (Shearman, 1990)

Only foresters should be involved in forest management

Forest managers are a diverse mix of wildlife biologists economists, soil scientists, ecologists, landscape architects, foresters and others

Increasing forest resource specialization and often specialist isolation and alienation (e.g. Kennedy, 1987)

Recognition of broad environmental, diverse social science and people skills, and integration of specialists into teams

Top-down production goals and organizational accountability

More bottom-up, community-level autonomy in planning and management

Centralized, technical, linear programming models driving priorities and planning

Community-level, participation, consensus and conflict resolution in planning and advisory teams

Organizational processes and behaviour

Professional mystic potency: managing "for the good of the forest resource" (Duerr and Duerr, 1975). Foresters "know good when they see it"

Social value broker and facilitator: managing for short and long-term social values (Kennedy and Thomas, 1995) of sustainable forest ecological, socio-cultural and economic systems

Patronistic management: caring, knowing, benign forester (or wildlife biologist, park ranger or other expert) who manages public lands for the people

Partnership management: managers facilitating a more open, democratic process of public involvement, customer service and broad, diverse partnerships

Implementation of increasingly complex laws and bureaucratic procedures

Need to simplify, humanize and facilitate regulations and regulators

In New Zealand in the 1970s, efficient machine-model silviculture of exotic pine plantations was publicly acceptable...

...but logging of native forest was not

More complex, diverse and interrelated organic models are necessary to understand and adapt to today's global environmental, economic and sociopolitical world. This is not to say that appropriate use cannot be made of focused, compartmentalized, machine model thinking and management. However, this segmented thinking and management must be made relevant in the context of a more inclusive organic model that integrates specific forest, wildlife or recreational management into a larger, long-term ecological, socioeconomic and political context. The development and adoption of such organic model thinking and referencing does not come without challenges, threats and uncertainty particularly given the background of many of today's forestry decision-makers (Magill, 1988; Kennedy, Fox and Osen, 1995). Yet to refuse this invitation to change is not an option for most agency professionals who are far from retirement.

In the 1990s, the dynamics of complex, interrelated environmental issues (e.g. Pacific salmon management in forest watersheds, European forest dieback, global warming) and the development of new integrative disciplines and concepts (e.g. landscape ecology [Botkin, 1990; UN, 1987]) have helped expand and soften the traditional boundaries of forestry, natural resource and environmental management.

Table 2 condenses and compares machine model and organic model views of forest ecosystems. Table 3 applies the implications of these beliefs to forest management and the roles of public forest managers. These two tables are not intended to represent polar dichotomies but rather to depict part of a public forest management continuum. They represent forest managers' growing recognition of and increasing confidence in their ability to honour and embrace more complex, diverse ecological and interrelated socioeconomic or political systems.

Changing roles and relationships of public forest resource management, agencies and foresters

Most European public forest services originated as part of the royal army that protected the nobility's hunting and land rights (Fritzboeger and Soendergaard, 1995). The USDA Forest Service was heavily influenced by the Prussian Forest Service and incorporated many of its values and methods of organization and operation (Twight, 1983; 1985). It was the first major United States conservation agency and served as a general organizational model for the later design of the National Park Service or United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Clarke and McCool, 1985).

United States forest and natural resource management agencies in first two-thirds of this century generally focused on laws and regulations. technology transfer, use control, infrastructure development, strategic planning or increased technological expertise to manage external forest entropy forces. Patriarchal line staff hierarchies, tight job classifications and promotion eligibility, centralized authority or rigid budget accountability were devices to combat internal organizational entropy (Schiff, 1966). Such a heritage of values and beliefs often created very focused, cohesive and, by many traditional measures, successful agency cultures for the 1950s and 1960s (see Table 4). The USDA Forest Service, for example, drafted most of its own guiding legislation until the advent of the Wilderness Act (1964) and the National Environmental Policy Act (1969). In this respect, according to other standard measures of organizational achievement, be it public respect (Frome, 1962), workforce loyalty and cohesion (Kaufman, 1960; Kennedy and Thomas, 1992), political influence (Gulick, 1951; Culhane, 1981; Clarke and McCool, 1985) and organizational effectiveness (Gold, 1982), the Forest Service was a very successful bureaucracy. So too were other European and United States forest resource agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the United Kingdom Forestry Commission and the Swedish and Danish Forest Services at the end of the Western industrial era (about 1970). Yet the dark side of such 1950s' machine model bureaucratic effectiveness would be its great difficulty in acknowledging and adapting to many socio-political changes soon to occur in an urban, post-industrial socio-economic transition (Reich, 1962; Hultman, 1984; Brunson and Kennedy, 1995). In the process of battling hostile internal and external entropy forces, natural resource managers sometimes alienated themselves from the land, their colleagues and users or other segments of society. Today, many of these traditional agency assumptions, values and core beliefs are being reconsidered.

Change in European and United States natural resource agencies is evident today in new agency visions (e.g. Bureau of Land Management, 1994a; Government of Denmark, 1994; USDA, 1994), the reduced functionalism of agency structure, budget systems and promotion eligibility; the greater number of members of public employees in forest planning, management and monitoring; and assessments of the environmental and social values of multistate or multinational forest ecosystems (e.g. UN, 1987; 1993).

Wheatley (1992), in his pioneering book, is a good foundation for envisaging new paths for public natural resource management and agency cultures in the next century. Senge (1990) and Kofman and Senge (1995) offer an expanded, pragmatic application of this new, organic model or system-oriented organizational thinking. Table 4 applies some of this thinking to natural resource professionals and agencies.

The foresters

In 1950 almost all public forest managers were foresters (Table 4, final section). In the United States and Europe today there are many types of professionals involved in forest research, planning, management and monitoring (e.g. soil scientists, ecologists, landscape architects, sociologists or recreation planners). Although professional workforces that are diverse in gender and ethnic background tend to be characterized by healthy dynamics (Kennedy, 1987; 1988; Thomas and Mohai, 1995), this can also lead to the risk of organization or agency dysfunction. In United States multiple-use agencies, timber, mineral, range and engineering professionals often battle with wildlife, recreational or environmental colleagues. Such dysfunctional behaviour can counterbalance the benefits of racial, professional or gender diversification (Kennedy, 1991) and requires more forest ecosystem and people management competence than ever before.

Table 4 (first section) also draws attention to an exaggerated faith in scientists and scientifically trained managers to devise both public forest goals and efficient management means for achieving them. Organizations, including the forest services of the United States, Sweden and the United Kingdom, often behaved like scientific and technological aristocracies, with well-meaning, data-rich, computer-enhanced plans to transform diverse forest (and other) ecosystems into intensively managed, accessible, wood-productive and multiple-use forest systems. Such machine model public forest plans might have been appropriate for Western social values of the 1950s and 1960s but they were not in the 1970s and 1980s, and contributed to major clashes between industrial and postindustrial social values.

Today foresters and forest ecosystem managers are adopting more of a facilitator and negotiator role in assisting citizens of a democracy in developing long-term public forest goals and broad parameters for management options (e.g. clear design and harvesting standards), within which professionals make short-term operational decisions (e.g. the participation of user councils, recently established in all Danish national and state forest districts). From the traditional "inform and educate" mode of forestry whereby professionals managed forests for the public, professionals are now setting goals, managing and monitoring together with the public with a focus on ecosystem values and the concerns of various interest groups (Table 4, sections 2-3). Ecosystem managers are evolving from professional aristocrats to public servants (Magill, 1988), not forgetting that the majority of public forest stockholders whom we should all be serving are yet to be born.

Closing comment

To succeed in the twenty-first century, forest ecosystem professionals and public agencies probably will have to do more than reinvent themselves in new shapes and customer orientations. It will require a deeper change of heart and broader, more integrated systems-oriented thinking. Kofman and Senge (1995) have found that, for organizations such as Ford or IBM to change, they must reach deep inside themselves and far back into their Western cultural heritage to create fundamentally new norms and forms of organizational thinking, meaning and behaviour. These authors believe that new, organic model thinking and behaviour are needed to heal organizational dysfunction in: i) fragmented thinking and a problem-solving focus; ii) glorification of competition in work and play; and iii) reactionary and heroic manager response habits.

Sustainable ecosystem stewardship (or management) is a promising, organic model orientation towards public lands and waters that is being pursued in the United States and Europe under different names and forms. We believe this is a logical evolution and a maturation of traditional multiple-use, sustained yield conservation values and concepts (Wiersum, 1995). But sustainable ecosystem management should be considered a long-term evolutionary path (not a fixed, defined target). This inclusive, long-term, integrated system thinking of ecosystem-based stewardship is also compatible with and on a parallel path to Senge's (1990) "learning organizations".

The paradigm shifts that we, Senge (1990) and others suggest represent a powerful, fundamental change in organizational thinking and behaving. Similar to the quantum physics paradigm shift in the Newtonian scientific order (Capra, 1983), these changes are so profound that they will probably require a generation or two of evolution to become the dominant paradigm. As in ecosystem-based stewardship, the transition to organic model agency cultures will require faith, perseverance and adaptability as forest and natural resource agencies continue to shift their orientation from:

· Protective conservation to... collaborative conservation;
· Patronistic bureaucracies to... partnership organizations;
· Patriarchal, line staff tiers to... open, adaptive, interdisciplinary teams;
· Linear-thinking specialists to... synergistic integrators;
· Output-oriented managers to... social value managers and stewards;
· Technical functionalists to... ecosystem-based management facilitators.

Although we believe socio-economic and political change (Bennis, 1966; UN, 1987; 1993; Knight and Bates, 1995)will continue to drive public forest conservation values and beliefs towards organic model thinking and application (such as ecosystem-based stewardship), there are still powerful actors resisting the process, both in and outside natural resource professions and public agencies.
We must willingly and openly test and adapt these emerging organic-model beliefs with dissenting voices and groups. Yet we see no future in the twenty-first century for closed (versus open), narrow (versus systematic and inclusive), short- (versus long-) term, or machine (versus organic) model thinking and behaviour in public natural resource organizations, regardless of how comfortable and secure old ways of thinking appear to be.


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