Inventory of the Jeff M. Sirmon Papers, 1963 – 1997

Descriptive Summary

Title: Jeff M. Sirmon Papers, 1963 - 1997

Creator: Sirmon, Jeff M.

Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives

Call Number: 2011-002

Language of Material: Material in English

Extent: 5 linear ft. (5 record cartons)


Biographical Note

Jeff M. Sirmon was a notable forestry engineer and the Forest Service's first Deputy Chief of International Forestry. He was born in Franklin, Alabama and received an engineering degree from Auburn University in 1958. He began his career with the Forest Service that same year, and in 1961 he became assistant forest engineer for the National Forests of South Carolina. Sirmon went on to positions as Regional Forester and Deputy Regional Forester in the Intermountain Region, R4 (1974-1982); Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region, R6 (1982-85); Deputy Chief Programs and Legislation (1985-1992); and Deputy Chief, International Forestry (1992-1994).

Sirmon was the first deputy chief of international forestry, and was instrumental to the U.S. involvement in the 1992 Earth Summit. He also developed agreements between the Forest Service and the governments of Brazil and Indonesia. After 35 years of service, Jeff retired from the USDA Forest Service in April 1994. He went on to become a senior fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation that same year.


Collection Overview

The collection includes journal and newspaper articles, correspondence, magazines and pamphlets, bound and unbound reports, reel-to-reel magnetic tapes, a film strip series, and a book by John H. Ainsworth entitled Paper...The Fifth Wonder. The collection also includes four record albums and corresponding film strips of "Papermaking: An Art and a Science."

Collection Arrangement

The records are arranged into five series.

1. Series I: Forest Service, 1974-1994.

1.1 Subseries A: Deputy Chief for International Forestry, 1991-1994.

1.2 Subseries B: Forest Service Regional assignments, 1974-1988.

2. Series II: Pinchot Institute for Conservation, 1993-1995.

3. Series III: Speeches, Presentations and Writings, 1968-1997.

4. Series IV: Calendars and Day Planners, 1963-1995.

5. Series V: Audio/Visual Material, 1985-1993.

Subject Headings

  • Sirmon, Jeff M.
  • United States. Forest Service
  • Pinchot Institute for Conservation
  • World Forestry Congress


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Forest Service, 1974-1994.

This series documents Sirmon's career with the U.S. Forest Service, and holds correspondence, memos, performance reviews, conference material, and newsletters.

Subseries A. Deputy Chief for International Forestry, 1991-1994.

Documents Sirmon's time as the Deputy Chief for International Forestry where he helped create the forest service's international mission and defined the goals, objectives, and initial organization of the program. Sirmon spearheaded this effort and these files document his development and implementation of guidelines and policy. Included are records of early interaction with officials in Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Taiwan.

  • Box 1, Folder 1-2
    Early Planning, 1991.
  • Box 1, Folder 3
    Committee on Forestry, 11th Session 1993. Rome, Italy.

    • Agenda, correspondence, and notes.
  • Box 1, Folder 4
    International Tropical Forest Institute
  • Box 1, Folder 5-7
    International Cooperation - Brazil
  • Box 1, Folder 8
    International Cooperation - India
  • Box 1, Folder 9
    International Cooperation - Indonesia
  • Box 1, Folder 10
    International Cooperation - Taiwan
  • Box 1, Folder 11-13
    10th World Forestry Congress, September 16-27, 1991 Paris. "Forests, A Heritage for the Future"

    • Contains correspondence and a U.S. Official Delegation Briefing Book with an agenda, maps, hotel information, and a conference overview.
Subseries B. Forest Service Regional assignments, 1974-1988.

Holds regional newsletters and performance reviews from Sirmon's time in the Intermountain Region and Pacific Northwest Region.

  • Box 1, Folder 14-17
    Intermountain Reigon, Intermountain Reporter, 1974-1982.
  • Box 1, Folder 18-19
    Pacific Northwest Region, Greensheets, 1982-1984
  • Box 2, Folder 1-2
    Pacific Northwest Region, Greensheets, 1984-1988.
  • Box 2, Folder 3-4
    Performance Appraisal Records, 1983-1988.
2. Series II: Pinchot Institute for Conservation, 1993-1995.

Records documenting Sirmon's work as a Senior Fellow with the Pinchot Institute of Conservation. Includes early articles describing the concept of the "Community of Interests" leadership model and the development and conduct of workshops to demonstrate and teach the associated theory and practice.

  • Box 2, Folder 5
    Correspondence, 1993-1995.
  • Box 2, Folder 6
    Reports and Newsletters, 1993-1995.
  • Box 2, Folder 7
    Mini Survey: Effectiveness of the workshop "Leadership: Mobilizing People to Act" conducted by Jeff Sirmon for the Pinchot

    • Institute for Conservation, 1998-1999.
  • Box 2, Folder 8
    United States -Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources UJNR. 14th Administrative and MRECC Plenary Session. July 22-23, 1993.

    • Agenda and participant notebook.
Series III: Speeches, Presentations and Writings, 1968-1997.

This series holds copies of conference papers, keynote addresses, speeches, and published articles by Sirmon.

  • Box 2, Folder 9
    "Assessing Change in U.S. Forestry Organizations: Experience with Change"

    • Presentation at the "Assessing Change in U.S. Forestry Organizations Conference" November 19-20, 1996, Washington, D.C.
  • Box 2, Folder 10
    "A Challenge to Agency Social Scientists"

    • An outline of keynote remarks presented to the Social Science Coordination Workshop, Arlington, Virginia, April 15, 1987.
  • Box 2, Folder 11
    "Changing Direction in Forest Management: Agencies, Culture, and Global Context."

    • Presented at the "New Concepts in Ecosystem Management" short course, June 12-16, 1995, Vancouver Island, Canada.
  • Box 2, Folder 12
    "Changing Values, Changing Institutions: The Forest Service."

    • University of Oregon, 1991.
  • Box 2, Folder 13
    "Company is Staying"

    • Presentation at the forum Company's Coming, November 16-20, 1997.
  • Box 2, Folder 14
    "Decision-making Under Uncertainty: The Role of the Administration in Administering and Implementing Federal Resource Law"

    • Presented at the Western Forestry Conservation Association Conference, December 5, 1989.
  • Box 2, Folder 15
    "Decision-making for Future Public Forests"

    • Presented to the Future Forests of the Mountain West: A Stand Culture Symposium, Missoula, Montana, September 29-October 3, 1986.
  • Box 2, Folder 16
    "The Engineering Technician in the Forest Service"

    • Presented to the Technicians Orientation Session in Fresno, April 16, 1969.
  • Box 2, Folder 17
    "A Direction for the Forest Service"

    • November 27, 1970.
  • Box 2, Folder 18
    "Evolving Concepts of Leadership: Towards a Sustainable Future"

    • Forest Perspectives, Volume I, Issue 2, Summer 1991.
  • Box 2, Folder 19
    "Federal Programs for Forest Engineering and Harvesting"

    • Presented at an IRM Retreat: "Confrontation VS. Cooperation in the Nation's Forests: Where Is the Common Ground?" Sundance, Utah, July 9, 1988.
  • Box 2, Folder 20
    "Forests and their Recreation Value"

    • Presented at UJNR Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, September 19-23, 1988.
  • Box 2, Folder 21
    "Improving the Political Environment for Tropical Rainforest Development and Conservation"

    • Presented at the Forest '92 Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. May 28, 1992.
  • Box 2, Folder 22
    "International Sciences: Sharing and Cooperating in a Global Environment"

    • Presented as the keynote address at the International Symposium on Ecology and Management of Larix Forests: A Look Ahead. Whitefish, MT, October 5-9, 1992.
  • Box 2, Folder 23
    An Interview with Regional Forester Jeff Sirmon.

    • Interview conducted by Jerry Mason, the public affairs officer of Willamette National Forest in Eugene, Oregon. July 17, 1985.
  • Box 2, Folder 24
    "Leadership and Managing Change: A Theoretical Backdrop"

    • Presented at the ADPA 53rd National Conference, Chicago, IL, April 15, 1992.
  • Box 2, Folder 25
    "Motivation Spectrum," 1968.

    • Given at the Engineers Dinner Meeting at the Soils Training Session, Arcadia.
  • Box 2, Folder 26
    "Multiple Values/Multiple Resources: The Challenge of Providing Multiple Uses," 1989.

    • Given to the Colorado/Wyoming Society of American Foresters, the Colorado Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and the Colorado Society of Range Management, June 30th, 1989.
  • Box 2, Folder 27
    "A New Ideal of Leadership in Natural Resources"

    • Presented at the National Forest Centennial Futures Conference: Land Stewardship in the Next Era of Conservation, Atlanta, GA. November 19-21, 1991.
  • Box 2, Folder 28
    "Old-Growth Supply Still Plentiful"

    • The Chieftain, Portland, Oregon, November 23, 1984.
  • Box 2, Folder 29
    "Partnerships for Resource Conservation and Economic Development"

    • Written for the American Society for Public Administration National Conference, Boston, MA. 1990. (Speech was not presented, conference was cancelled)
  • Box 2, Folder 30
    "Opportunities for International Cooperation in Forestry Between the United States and Latin American Countries," 1993.

    • Presented at the First Pan-American Congress on Forestry and Seventh Brazilian Congress on Forestry, Curitiba, Brazil, September 22, 1993.
  • Box 2, Folder 31
    "A Perspective on Landslides: Landslides and the Forest Service, an Inhibitor to Effective Land Management"

    • Presentation at the Materials Engineering Workshop, September 12, 1977. Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Box 2, Folder 32
    "Presentation to Forest Engineers," November 28, 1972.
  • Box 2, Folder 33
    "Reflections on the Earth Summit: Where To From Here?"

    • Presented at the Sustainable Forestry - Challenges from the International Context session at the SAF National Convention, Richmond, VA, October 18-25, 1992.
  • Box 2, Folder 34
    "Regional Political and Economical Issues in Managing Old-Growth Forest on National Forest Land"

    • Portland, Oregon, undated.
  • Box 2, Folder 35
    "Silviculture in Stands and Landscapes: Bridging the Gap"

    • Presented at the Silviculture, Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement, Forest Pest Management, and Soils Working Group session at the SAF National Convention held at San Francisco, CA August 4-7, 1991.
  • Box 2, Folder 35
    "Progress and Problems in National Forest Planning"

    • Presented at the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law on June 8, 1987
  • Box 2, Folder 36
    "Skills and Ethics for Natural Resource Managers and Agency's Viewpoint"

    • Presented to the Intermountain Society of American Foresters 1990 Annual Meeting, Park City, Utah.
  • Box 2, Folder 37
    "The Sources of Conflict Over Environmental Issues"

    • Presented at an Institute for Resource Management Retreat: "Confrontation vs. Cooperation in the Nations' Forests: Where Is the Common Ground?" Sundance, Utah, Juley 9, 1968.
  • Box 2, Folder 38
    "Strategic Planning in the Forest Service: It's Relationship to Forest Planning and Impact on Wildlife and Fisheries Management"

    • Presented on October 11, 1986 at Warm Springs, Oregon.
  • Box 2, Folder 39
    "Toward a Model of Community Leadership"

    • Presented at the New Perspectives for Managing National Forests: Strategy Retreat, Philadelphia, PA. June 21, 1990.
  • Box 2, Folder 40
    "Trees, Conservation and the Environment: The Congressional Agenda"

    • Presented at the Governor's Conference on Trees and Forests, Annapolis, Maryland, May 21, 1990.
  • Box 2, Folder 41
    "U.S. Response to the Rio Forestry Accord"

    • Presented at the 1993 National Association of State Foresters Annual Meeting, Bar Harbor, ME, September 13, 1993.
  • Box 2, Folder 42
    "What the Rio Forestry Accord Means for U.S Forestry"

    • Presented at the Agricultural Outlook Conference, Washington, D.C., December 1, 1992.
  • Box 2, Folder 43
    "Wise Use"

    • Presented to the 1989 Wise Use Strategy Conference, Reno, Nevada, August 19, 1989.
4. Series IV: Calendars and Day Planners, 1963-1995.

Used by Sirmon to track appointments. Most have only brief entries.

  • Box 3

    • Contains calendars and day planners for Sirmon's time at the Lassen National Forest (1963-1966), San Francisco Regional Office (1968) the Washington, D.C. office (1971), the Intermountain Region (1975-1981) and the Pacific Northwest Region (1974-1982). Notes and appointments are both personal and professional in nature, and often contain minimal detail.
  • Box 4

    • Holds calendars for Sirmon's service as the deputy chief for programs and legislation and the deputy chief of international forestry, as well as his work for the Pinchot Institute.
5. Series V: Audio/Visual Material, 1985-1993.
  • Box 4 (Videotapes)
    • "America's Forests: A History of Resiliency and Recovery" USDA Forest Service, 1993.
    • "Are We Killing America's Forests?"
      • A one-hour documentary produced by KUAT-TV, Tucson, Arizona. Hosted by Don Collier.
    • Celebrating the National Forest Idea" Cody, Wyoming, June 25-July 4, 1991.
      • Produced by the Public Affairs Office of the Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region.
    • "A Century of Challenge" USDA Forest Service
    • "The Continuing Forest: Managing the Resources of Our National Forests"
      • Produced by Caterpillar, 1989.
    • "The Forest Archetype: The Structure of Public Perception"
      • Presented by the American Forest Council and the National Forest Products Association
    • "Forest Service International Cooperation and Activities"
    • "The Incredible Sawtooths"
      • Produced by Mel Hardman in cooperation with the Idaho Travel Council.
    • "Leadership in a Changing Environment"
      The Pinchot Institute for Conservation
    • "Los Bosques de los Estados Unidos: Forest USA"
      • USDA Forest Service, September 18, 1989.
    • "Miracle of the Forest"
      • Television Public Service Announcement, Theodore Roosevelt for Our National Forests
    • "The National Forests: America's Great Outdoors National Recreation Strategy"
    • "New Perspectives Television" 1990-1991 - Volume I
      • A production of the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region.
    • "New Perspectives Television" 1990-1991 - Volume II
      • A production of the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region.
    • "New Perspectives Television" 1990-1991 - Volume III
      • A production of the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region.
    • "Ponderosa Pine Forest Partnership: Ecology, Economy, and Community"
      • Video presentation by the USDA Forest Service.
    • "A Portrait of the Forest" 1990
      • Foreign Language film.
    • "The RPA: Pointing a New Path"
      • Produced by the U.S. Forest Service.
    • "San Juan Adventure: A Video Guide to Recreation on the San Juan National Forest"
      • USDA Forest Service.
    • Sirmon, Jeff
      • Side 1: Jeff Sirmon and State BLM director Bill Leavell discuss FS-BLM merger, February 5, 1985.
      • Side 2: Jeff Sirmon discusses FS-BLM realignment at R-6 Family Meeting Regional Office, February 19, 1985.
    • "Tongass Country/Tongass: The Changing Forest"
      • Produced by KTOO-PBS in cooperation with USDA Forest Service. Includes 4 30-minute programs. 1988.
    • "Voices of the Past"
      • Produced by the Pinchot Institute. Written and directed by Gary Hines, Grey Towers National Historic Landmark.


Administrative Information

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jeff M. Sirmon Papers, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Lea Tiernan, May 2015

Encoded by Lea Tiernan, May 2015

Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.