An exploration of the philosophical nature of ecology
Environmental Ethics and Forestry
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edited by Peter C. List
During the past twenty-five years, North American forestry has received increasingly vigorous scrutiny. Critics including the environmentalists, environmental scientists, representatives of public interest groups, and many individual citizens have expressed concerns about forestry's basic assumptions and methods, as well as its practical outcomes. Criticism has centered on such issues as the exploitation of forests for timber production, the reduction and fragmentation of old-growth habitats, the destruction of biodiversity, the degradation of grasslands through grazing practices, lack of government attention to recreation facilities, silvicultural methods like clearcutting and the use of herbicides and pesticides, the exportation of industrial forestry techniques to other parts of the world, and the use of public monies to provide services for private resouce companies, as in the creation of logging roads.
This rising tide of public scrutiny has led many foresters to suspect that their "contract" with society to manage forests using their best professional judgment had been undermined. Some of these professionals, as well as some of their critics, have begun to reexamine their old beliefs and to look for new ways of practicing forestry. Part of this reflective process has entailed new directions in environmental ethics and environmental philosophy.
This reader brings together some of the new thinking in this area. Here students of the applied environmental and natural resource sciences, as well as the interested general reader, will discover a rich sampling of writings in environmental ethics and philosophy as they apply to forestry. Readings focus on basic ethical systems in forestry and forest management, philosophical issues in forestry ethics, codes of ethics in forestry and related natural resource sciences such as fisheries science and wildlife biology, Aldo Leopold's land ethic in forestry, ethical advocacy and whistleblowing in government resource agencies, the ethics of new forestry, ecoforestry, and public debate in forestry, as well as ethical issues in global forestry such as the responsibilities of forest corporations, environmentalists, and individual wood consumers.
This volume contains materials from the founders of forestry ethics, such as Bernhard Fernow, Giford Pinchot, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold; from such organizations as the Society of American Foresters, the Wildlife Society, the American Fisheries Society, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, and the Ecoforesters group, in addition to writings by a variety of well-known environmental philosophers and foresters, including Holmes Rolston, Robin Attfield, Lawrence Johnson, Michael McDonald, Paul Wood, James E. Coufal, Raymond Craig, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Jeff DeBonis, Jim L. Bowyer, Alasdair Gunn, Goug Gaigle, Alan G. McQuillan, Stephanie Kaza, Alan Dregson, Duncan Taylor, and Kathleen Dean Moore.
"...the articles in this reader create a rich foundation for discussion and for questioning the way we use and manage natural resources."
Part I: Ethical Systems in Forestry
Part II: Two Philosophical Issues in Forestry Ethics
Part III: Contemporary Forestry Ethics
Peter C. List is Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University, where he teaches courses on environmental ethics, ethical issues in the natural resource sciences, and sustainable forestry. He is the author of articles on Aldo Leopold's land ethic, and co-author of several articles on public attitudes about federal forests and forest management, published in the Journal of Forestry and Society and Natural Resources.
In the series
Environmental Ethics, Values, and Policy, edited by Holmes Rolston III.
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