By Tom McClure, OS Conservation Co-Chair


We are fortunate and very excited to have Jim Furnish join us at the Ozark Society’s Fall meeting as our guest speaker.   Jim will be speaking between 3 and 4 pm on Saturday afternoon, October 28, 2023, at Tyler Bend Campground on the Buffalo National River.

Jim had a 34-year career in the U.S. Forest Service and is the author of “Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition (A Memoir).” He served as the Deputy Chief of the Forest Service from 1999-2002, and spent several years as the Supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon in the 1990s.

Jim was an important player in the protection of old-growth forests in Oregon during the spotted owl/clearcutting debates of the 1980s and 1990s.  He was also instrumental in initiating the Forest Service’s “2001 Roadless Rule”, which establishes prohibitions on road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on 58 million acres of inventoried roadless areas on National Forest System lands.  The intent of the 2001 Roadless Rule is to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System in the context of multiple use management.

For all who are interested in reading an important perspective of how the U.S. Forest Service works, and would also like to read some great stories about Jim’s efforts to steer the Forest Service in a more environmentally sustainable direction, his book “Toward a Natural Forest” is a must-read.  The book is available through Amazon. 

And if you are able to come, please mark your calendars for October 28, and be there at Tyler Bend to meet Jim in person and hear what he has to say.  It is a unique opportunity to spend some time with a person who has had an enormous impact on the management of our national forests, both during his time with the Forest Service, and also in his retirement years as a strong voice for better Forest Service policies and management.