Public Lands Policy Statement Approved

Public Lands Policy Statement Approved by Membership

The Guild has adopted a new policy statement on Public Lands. Professional Members concluded voting on the statement on March 6th, 2017, with 89% of members voting in favor and 11% voting opposed. 

Recent events that appear to threaten the long-standing tradition of public forest lands in the U.S. include the pending sale of the 82,500 acre Elliot State Forest in Oregon, efforts in Maine to increase the allowable harvest on state Public Reserved Lands, and the uncertain policy directions from a new administration in Washington.  The Guild is now on the record in support of continued public land ownership with balanced uses, and for a continued public voice in how federal lands are managed.

While a large majority of members voted to approve the statement and the majority of comments were strongly positive, some members commented that the statement was too broad, or that it could be read to be unrealistically restrictive in opposing federal / state land transfers and other forms of non-public ownership or public-private partnerships. 

A full text of the approved Public Lands Policy Statement is attached.

Guild policy statements are intended to provide broad guidance on important topics and to inform more focused advocacy on specific issues. Having a clear policy statement on public lands and public forestry issues provides a foundation for Guild members to take positions on state and local issues, and supports our ongoing advocacy at the federal level.

Many thanks to all our members who provided valuable input on development of this statement.