In the World Forestry Center Leadership Hall, there is a notable forester whose name is not among the 200 handcrafted black walnut chests that bear the names of individuals who have “made significant contributions in advancing forestry and forest products worldwide.” After nearly fifty years since the establishment of the Leadership Hall, this oversight was remedied at the 2016 SAF Convention. In conjunction with SAF and Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the World Forestry Center raised the funds to induct Gifford Pinchot into its Leadership Hall; these funds will be used to support the Center’s educational efforts.
Eric Vines, executive director of the World Forestry Center, explained the reason for Pinchot’s inclusion. “Pinchot’s words and his works are as relevant to today’s challenges in sustainable management of forests as they were to the challenges faced in his time. Through the institutes that Pinchot and his family established and endowed directly and those that came later, but have equal claim to his conservationist mantle, Pinchot’s scientific and philosophic achievements still guide natural resource management today.”
Will Price, president of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, accepted the award on behalf of the Pinchot family. “I’m not sure what to make being the person to accept an award honoring Gifford Pinchot,” he said. “It really is all of us celebrating his legacy—everyone in SAF involved in the many facets of conservation and forestry.”
During his acceptance speech, Price described Pinchot’s accomplishments which went beyond being a forester—“he is considered the father of rural electric cooperatives, kept navigable waterways in the public domain and preserved forests that are irreplaceable, all the while he urged and advanced the sustainable management of the nation’s timber supply for the greatest good in the long run.”
Price concluded his address by remarking, “Pinchot never shied away from controversy and instead he pushed the envelope. He believed that quote ‘Unless you are taking flack, you’re not over the target.’”