Forestry Propaganda

Forestry Propaganda

Definition of the word propaganda: 1) a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions; 2) the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution; 3) ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.

Most institutions, particularly political ones, spread propaganda in order to protect and further their interests.  Other instituions and individuals with different interests are likely to spread counter-propaganda in response.  Propaganda usually goes back and forth; it's usually a two-way street. 

However, in some countries during certain periods of history, propaganda has been exclusively a one-way street.  Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia come to mind in this regard.  The contemporary United States also comes to mind regarding the vast amount of corporate propaganda that pervades all aspects of the news and entertainment media.

Even in democratic societies, certain governmental institutions have managed to monopolize the flow of propaganda.  One group of such institutions is the state and federal forestry agencies, and the forest industries they represent.  Propaganda tends to flow from the higher levels of these institutions out to the public through press releases, brochures, educational workshops, public speeches, policy statements, and university programs.

Opposition to the propaganda monopolies of these forestry agencies occasionally comes from various environmental groups.  There is very little opposition to agency propaganda from forestry professionals or landowners--with the exception of a few so-called ecoforesters.

Many of the pages on this web site could be considered counter-propaganda, particularly those in the Papers/Politics section.  The two pages below this one are specific instances forestry propaganda that have appeared over the past year, and the arguments against them.  The Chip Mills page comes from Virginia.  The Vision Thing page comes from Massachusetts. 

Other counter-propaganda forestry pages on the Web include Joe Zorzin's Woodchuck Party Line page and his critique of the Foster & Foster Thinking in Forest Time white paper.  Joe's Politics Of Forestry in Massachusetts page has links to other pages, including some on this web site.  Joe also has a critique of the Massachusetts Vision Report.

With public debates heating up over the uses of public and private forests all around the world, the amount of propaganda issuing forth from state forestry agencies and forest industries is increasing.  You may want to check this page periodically for new instances of forestry propaganda and the counter-arguments from an eco-forestry point of view.