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How Michigan Prevented Another Monongahela

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Lessons from the 1976 Monongahela clearcutting incident were successfully applied by the Forest Management Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to resolve a similar controversy in Michigan.

A citizens' group, outraged by clearcutting near their homes, organized to challenge the division's cutting policies. The agency used six tactics successfully to resolve the issue: (1) The usual chain of command was bypassed. (2) Contact with the public was established and maintained. (3) The citizens' group was analyzed thoroughly and its complaints recognized. (4) Technical specialists were used where needed. (5) The Forest Management Division used every available opportunity to present its case. (6) Action was taken so the public saw the effect its concerns had on management.

These general tactics can be applied to a variety of situations in which agency policies may conflict with citizens' desires. The techniques can serve as a base upon which foresters and other resource professionals, primarily trained in technical aspects of their work, can improve on an increasingly important part of their jobs.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Manager with Davey Environmental Services, Lansing, Michigan 48912. At the time the article was written she was graduate research assistant, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Publication date: 1983-10-01

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    The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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