Forest Sustainability: The History, the Challenge, the Promise

By Douglas W. MacCleery

Sustainability is at the forefront of resource discussions today. Varying definitions, lack of comparable inventories, and different value systems all challenge sustainability’s use as a management concept. During the last century conservation has evolved. The pathway from “conservative lumbering,” “sustained yield,” “multiple use,” “ecosystem management,” and now “sustainable forestry” raises the question. . . . What will be the next management umbrella?

In Forest Sustainability, Donald Floyd suggests that forest sustainability on a global basis is a distant, worthy, and perhaps unobtainable goal without significant changes in technology, population control, and human behavior.

Nevertheless, it remains a goal that we must seek, just as we strive for “perfect justice,” “absolute truth,” or “democracy.” This monograph provides a historical context to sustainable forestry internationally with a focus on North America.

Donald W. Floyd is professor of forestry and public administration at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

© 2002 Forest History Society

80 pp.; 21 photos; 11 maps and figures.

Issues Series booklets are $9.95 (plus $4.00 shipping). Discounts are available if ordering 10 or more copies.