Worksheet 3: Biography Jerry F. Franklin

Jerry Forest Franklin was born in Waldport , Oregon on October 27, 1936. He loved the forest at a young age, and it is said that by age nine he knew he wanted to grow up to be a forester. Franklin did just that. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Forest Management from Oregon State University . Then in 1966 he completed his PhD in Botany and Soils from Washington State University .

Dr. Franklin has been a researcher for the Forest Service and at academic institutions since 1959. He became a research forester for the USDA Forest Service in 1959. He worked as a forest researcher at the Corvallis , Oregon Research Station, and the Coniferous Forest Biome International Biological Program. While working as a forester he challenged the practice of clear-cutting and instead offered logging solutions that were more science based. His “new forestry” strategy taught management practices of leaving logs and other wood debris, standing dead trees and some larger live trees when logging an area. While his new ideas were met at first with uncertainty within the timber industry, eventually they were accepted by environmentalists and timber companies alike. He has conducted numerous long-term experiments designed to help forest science for years to come. He has studied old-growth forests, natural disturbances in forests (such as fire) and the recovery process of forest ecosystems (how forest recover after a disturbance such as logging or wildfires).

Image 1: Jerry F. Franklin in an Old Growth Forest in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Franklin has spent more than 40 years studying old-growth forests, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. He has been a researcher for the USDA Forest Service, at Oregon State University and the University of Washington . He was the program director of the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility. He has served on many local, national and global commissions dedicated to the analyses of forest issues. He was on the national boards of The Nature Conservancy and The Wilderness Society. Dr. Franklin has written over 300 scientific articles and books. He is considered one of the country’s leading authorities on sustainable forest management, and is often called the “father of new forestry.”

Dr. Franklin was a recipient of the 11 th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment in May 2005. The Heinz Awards were created to recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals and to highlight the power an individual can have on American society. In the award description of Dr. Franklin it was written that: “With unwavering courage and conviction, wisdom and passion, Dr. Jerry Franklin has dramatically expanded our knowledge of natural forest ecosystems and used this knowledge to help redefine forest management in the United States and many parts of the world. Because of his contributions, millions of acres of forests have a more sustainable future.”