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Jerry Franklin Retirement Lecture, November 22, 1991

Oregon State University
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FRED SWANSON: Thank you all for coming and making this such a joyous occasion. We feel like we keep saying goodbye to you, Jerry. I do think it's a good time to reflect on your career for a number of reasons. One is to commend you for your incredible accomplishments while we're all still young enough to remember most of the. Second, I think reflections on your career will be useful to many of the rest of us who are working along towards retirement as we reflect on our 00:01:00past and future careers. I also think it may be useful to provide some context for understanding the events of today; your role in them and the events 00:02:00themselves; events including formulation of New Forestry, New Perspectives, Gang of Four Plus 2 process, and the role scientists as advocates. These issues are all being discussed by many of us who are involved in many ways. So, some reflections on your career are maybe useful to us all.

I asked you to speak on "The Nine Professional Lives of Jerry Franklin" - just sort of off the top, figuring there were about nine major areas of activity and accomplishment. That's not to imply that, as a cat, you may have only nine lives. There are many ways to look at that title. It's really incredible to think about all your accomplishments of a very substantial magnitude for each 00:03:00one, because the rest of us would be very proud to be able to count only two or three of those within our life accomplishments list. Thinking ahead a bit, as I thought about that title, it's not to imply that this is your last life and professional area of activity. I expect there will be more, and I sort of wonder what forms they will take. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that and I wonder if you have any expectations of what has come to pass in some of your earlier lives. I'd like you now to give us your rendition of your 8.5 lives, since the current life of New Forestry and reformulation of forestry at stand to regional scales that we are really in the midst of right now.


JERRY FRANKLIN: Thanks, Fred. I've never really thought about doing this kind of thing before. Never thought about retiring before and I really didn't think there were particularly profound events; I'm going to just keep on working, just like I had before. I'm just going to have someone else paying the bill - instead of the US government it's going to be the State of Washington paying the bill. But, it turns out that there are some, at least psychological impacts, of closing out a major part of your life. And it has been 34 years of my life. It's had more impact than I imagined it would. Of course, one of the things you might have expected it to do was give me a little bit of wisdom; and my youngest son 00:05:00concluded, in fact, that's exactly what it had done, and so this time I'm in town he gave me THIS. [Applause - a big print of a photo of Jerry peering somewhat comically from behind a tree]

Fred and I actually sat down and talked a little bit about what the nine lives might be, and it turns out, as far as I can tell, there's about eleven of them. I could spend the next several hours going through a rendition of these things, but I'm not going to do that to you. But, I would like to reminisce just a 00:06:00little bit on some of the things, and maybe share a little bit of the humor of some of them, and also some of the lessons I learned out of them.

I want to begin by acknowledging one person particularly that really set me on the track that I've been on and that's Bill Ferrell. Bill was the silviculturist in that particular first year that I came to Oregon State. He was the mensuration teacher and we ended up out in the field together, eating lunch together. As you know, we did our field trips each day, and, so, in the conversation I casually mentioned to Bill, I thought I would be interested in research sometime, and it wasn't a matter of three or four weeks after that that the Corvallis Research Center of the PNW Experiment Station had a position of 00:07:00student trainee provided to them. Bob Ruth went to Bill Ferrell and said, "Do you know anybody that might like to get involved in the career of research?" and he said, "Yeah, I have this student in my class, Jerry Franklin. I think he might be interested." And, low and behold, they asked me. I troubled over it quite a bit because in those days Civil Service salaries were not adequate for a student putting himself through college, but I thought, I'll take the risk, and hope I get a scholarship. And, that was the beginning of my Forest Service career.

Student trainee positions were like doing co-op ed positions today, and so I traced myself back to that conversation at noontime with Bill and with his putting in a word for me. That was at a time when the Forest Service Research 00:08:00program here was the Corvallis Research Center. There were three people, Bob Ruth, Carl Berntsen, Roy Silen, and a secretary in one room of the basement of the old forestry building and that was the Forest Research Center. That's where it started. Of course, Bill was very influential after that as well. He was my professor for my Masters degree and then he was the one that, after I was already slotted and headed for the University of Washington, who said, "Hey, you know, there's this professor Daubenmire up at Pullman and they have a good soils program, too. Why don't you talk to them before you make up your mind." And sure enough, that's just what I ended up going. Well, anyway, that's how I got started professionally.


My first life was as a subalpine forest ecologist, and, you know, like so many young folks, I really wanted to get high in the mountains. I wanted to go really high in the mountains, but, as it turned out, the Forest Service didn't feel they needed to know that much about the white bark pine and larch and the alpine, so I had to come down just a little bit in my targets. There was a concern, they were just beginning to get up in the true-fir--hemlock forests. WOW, that would be NEAT! You know, everybody worked in Doug-fir, so let's get up in the mountains. But, unfortunately, the money had been allocated to the Olympic Research Center and Norm Worthington's project up there, so this was somewhat troublesome, but with the encouragement of Bob Ruth, I went ahead and I 00:10:00did a problem analysis. Here I was just basically finished with my BS degree and I had the good fortune to have someone encourage me - "Go ahead and do a problem analysis - what have you got to lose?" So, I spent a few weeks, a few months, and put together a problem analysis for upper slope silviculture. Just about that time there was a Washington Office inspection - all you Forest Service folks know all about Washington Office inspections. But, of course, Worthington, who wasn't interested in subalpine forests at all, had done nothing in two years of appropriations, and when the inspectors came out and I showed them a problem analysis - and I can tell you for sure it was not a profound analysis - they said, "Well, this looks interesting. You folks are really interested in it, we're going to give you the money to do subalpine forestry management." And, 00:11:00that's how I got into that. So, I learned a couple things out of that. One was the importance of initiative and the fact that, if there's an opportunity, don't stand around and talk about whether you might take it or not. Lay it out there and take the risk. It really paid off.

I spent the first couple years basically developing silvicultural and ecological research in subalpine forests and my life ambition at that point was to be the world expert on true-fir--hemlock forests. That's what I was going to set my targets for. And out of that, in fact, I learned another lesson, which was my objectives were going to evolve. That one didn't last even five years, but, in any case, that's where it started.


My second life was sort of about natural areas: ecological reserves, scientific reserves. I had my first exposure to this at 16 as a kid driving around in a car grouse hunting up in the Wind River country, and I was driving down this road and stopped. Here was this sign which said, "Wind River Research Natural Area. This area has been set aside for study in natural processes." WOW, what a neat idea! Set an area aside. Use if for science. So, I had an early exposure to it, but it was really several years after I had begun to get into forestry research that I found out that it as possible to make proposals for such areas.

The first one I got involved in was a proposal for Sister Rocks Research Natural Area. You know, today I would say, "Holy cow, how could that have been 00:13:00controversial, a little 240-acre ridgetop patch of silver fir forest?" It got me into a whole process and controversy that goes around any kind of land allocation of that sort. What I found about Natural Areas was they were fun. It was a lot of fun visiting them, getting to take plots in them, and, of course, they were always very attractive kinds of areas, although several of us have gotten to know most of them were on slopes. There were no flat Research Natural Areas. But, it was very rewarding from that standpoint, just getting out there and being in those situations and having a role in actually preserving some piece of forest. However, it was also, I found, an area of tremendous conflict 00:14:00and I got into more trouble over Research Natural Areas than probably any other single thing up until perhaps the Gang of Four exercise. There were at least three times when they said, "Fire Jerry." I can remember one Forest Supervisor calling the Director and saying, "Don't let that Boy Scout on my national forest again!" I can remember that very clearly. I can also remember a Regional Forester and a Supervisor agreeing that Franklin had absolutely no credibility with regard to Research Natural Areas. But, the Station was always very good, in fact, protecting their scientists from what they felt were unwarranted attacks, and as long as I was dealing with technical issues, as opposed to policy issues, 00:15:00there was not a problem. Despite those efforts, somehow, I never did get fired, not even over the Research Natural Areas.

Had a lot of fun getting some of the people involved in Research Natural Areas when Bob Buckman was Station Director. He let us begin to have a summer Natural Area scientist. We did not have enough money for an entire position, but we did have enough for a summer scientist, and we got people like Art McKee, Chris Maser, Sarah Greene. These people were all people who basically in one way or another started with that Natural Area program. And we did one thing as a group, and Bob Buckman deserves a lot of credit for supporting it, Ted Dyrness deserves 00:16:00a log of credit for carrying it through to completion, and that was a "yellow book" Research Natural Area Needs in the Northwest - sort of a comprehensive plan of what it is we thought we ought to have in the way of scientific reserves. Out of that came a lesson of the value of consensus, because what that plan did, once we had it in place and signed off on, was all of the arguments about whether we needed this or that or that or this were gone. We had a plan, it was agreed to, we were down to the arguments over just exactly where should the boundaries be, how many acres do you really need to have this thing. It no longer forced you to justify each one of these.

My third life, I suppose, was vegetation analysis. That was working on plant 00:17:00communities and habitat types, working with Rexford Daubenmire, who was the person who conceptualized the habitat-type concept. I remember, boy, you know, one of the classic comments as I got involved in this was, "That's not science. We don't do that kind of thing in the Experiment Station. This is not a statistical sample." But, we did it anyway. Interestingly enough, at the same time, the Station was very uncomfortable with that stuff, the academic community, some of them, were also very uncomfortable with it. "That's not truth, you know that's okay for you people in the agencies, but we're after truth," as though truth were singular - that there was a truth. Anyway, that 00:18:00turned out to be rewarding in many ways. For one thing, I can't take much credit for the Area Ecology Program, but it did help in the expansion of the Area Ecology Program to the west side because people were saying no, this stuff has no application on the west side; it's okay on the east side. Another thing was it gave me a lot of opportunity to work with Ted Dyrness - that was fun! We had a lot of fun doing that stuff down on the Willamette, down on the Andrews Experimental Forest. And, of course, in the end of the things it led to was the work that both Ted and I did on the vegetation of the Pacific Northwest [the book Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington], which has been one of the major accomplishments that I've been part of.

The fourth life. IBP. International Biological Program of the National Science 00:19:00Foundation and ecosystem studies. And, you know, in 1968, I could literally have asked the questions, "What the hell is ecosystem research?" "What do they mean by structure and function of ecosystems?" You know, this is jargon. And that's just about how much I knew about ecosystems and ecosystem research at the time.

I remember in 1968 going to the organizational meeting for the Coniferous Forest Biome. NSF was going to fund six major biome programs. They had four of them going; the next one was the conifer biome. The University of Washington people had this thing down; they had it wired. They were going to be IT. Perhaps a few others might be able to participate on the side. They had an organizational 00:20:00meeting at Pack Forest, and we derailed the University of Washington. We derailed it real good, as a matter of fact; to the point where we almost didn't have a conifer biome. We had a situation where we were effectively holding each other hostage. There wasn't going to be a program at UW without a significant OSU component and vice versa. We weren't going to be able to get the whole hog either. And, it was just in the nick of time that everybody realized Chuck Cooper, the NSF program director, came out here to tell us there was not going to be a conifer biome. Dick Waring, Dale Cole, and I got it together enough to persuade them there should be a coniferous forest biome program. For the next 00:21:00three years I was rubber bumper between Dick Waring and Dale Cole. I could tell you that's not a good place to be. And that happened more than once. Anyway, we did get the biome back on track and we started a program which has turned out to be the progenitor of sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of the biome project, has produced a tremendous body of science. I think we did particularly well with our part of the program, based on the Andrews, and I think you'll see how the seed of that produced a number of blossomings on down 00:22:00the road.

The fifth life. The H.J. Andrews program. I still remember my first trip to the Andrews. It was in January 1957. I had just come to work as a student trainee, and I went down to the Andrews to service the gaging stations on Watersheds 1, 2, and 3. I remember snowshoeing in the last mile from the junction of the Blue River and Lookout Creek Roads and thinking, WOW, this is really a neat place. There are big trees. And they were different from the big trees I'd grown up with, because I'd grown up in southern Washington where it is a little moister than it is at the Andrews. It had a profound impact.

I had the pleasure in the summer of '57 of working on the Andrews with Jack Rothacher, who was a marvelous individual and who did a wonderful job of 00:23:00educating me about a lot of things. I can remember sitting at Watershed 1 and arguing whether there needed to be a wilderness bill. I was arguing, "We don't need a wilderness bill; we forester know how to manage this stuff." Jack was saying, "Well, I don't know. There might be good reasons to have a wilderness bill." Classical forestry training did have an impact - didn't last long, but it did have an impact. Well, in '58 I was banished to Cascade Head [Experimental Forest] for that summer, but I got to come back to the Andrews when I got my bachelor's degree because Carl Berntsen went off to take over Bend and left a slot, so I got to go to work on the Andrews. One of the interesting things about the Andrews is it reached a real low point in the early 1960s. In 1962 the 00:24:00Andrews Experimental Forest was proposed for disestablishment by the Experiment Station as no longer being well run to the Research program. And, in fact, they did disestablish the [South] Umpqua Experimental Forest at that time, other than the small set of experimental watersheds. This was very troublesome to Jack, Ted, and myself. There were only about four or five of us using the Andrews at that time. The watershed people, Jack and Dick Fredriksen, Ted, and myself bootlegging some work down there - that was it. Summers were very quiet at the Andrews. In our little west Blue River Heights trailer part. But, one way or another we were able to prevent the disestablishment of the Andrews at that 00:25:00point. We were able to persuade the Station, don't do this. Don't do this. I remember we talked a long about what can we do to ensure that this doesn't happen. And there was honestly one way, if you're not going to lose it, you must use it. We've got to build a program. We've got to build a constituency. We have to build a profile for the place. And, so, effectively, that's what we set about to do. We didn't just make a plan and say that's what we've got, we just did it. Obviously, the establishment of the IBP program in the late '60s was absolutely critical in that process. It's been the sky's the limit ever since. What the Andrews ecosystem did was to become a world class group of scientists. What the 00:26:00Andrews has become is, in fact, one of the three crown jewels of forest experimentation in North America, and perhaps in the World. So, that has been an extremely rewarding one of my lives. I am very, very proud of the place.

Life number six. Long-term ecological research. We've got to have some long-term studies, for God's sake. We can't do all of this stuff in 2- or 3-year shots! And, you know, there was a period in the late '50s-'60s when in fact that was the notion. Not only were you going to do it in short studies you somehow strung together, but you were going to do it in the laboratory. You didn't need to do anything in the field anymore. The longer that I was involved in this work, the 00:27:00clearer it was to me that we had to begin to put together some very long-term studies, some continuity. I had benefitted so much, our profession had benefitted so much, from that investment those people had made in the '30s when they put in the older conifer plots at Cascade Head - they put in growth-and-yield plots. Nobody was doing it, nobody was even carrying these things on. I remember, again in the '60s, we were told to go to Cascade Head and pull the tags out of all the growth-and-yield plots because those stands were beyond rotation and the individual did not want any of the PNW scientists wasting their time by going back and trying to resuscitate those plots. Well, we 00:28:00didn't go and pull the tags off the trees, we did resuscitate the plots, and we use them today. Of course, we want to begin studies as well. Ted did it. I did it. Others of us did it - to begin to establish long-term plots and long-term data sets. I felt, I still feel, that is probably the best legacy that we can leave for the next generations of scientists.

That wasn't enough, somehow, we had to build a capability beyond that. That had to come out of an institution. When I went back to NSF in 1973, we began to talk about long-term research. It was one of the first meetings I had as a program director at NSF. Their problem at that time was how do we support the field 00:29:00stations, and what I and several others did was turn that from the orientation to funding field stations to funding long-term research. Of course, six years later the first request for proposals went out from NWF for the long-term studies. Then, in 1980 H.J. Andrews was one of the experimental forests in the first six sites to receive these long-term grants, which now are becoming grants for 6-year periods of about $600,000 per year - not adequate, but a real commitment to that long-term continuity that we need. Then, of course, one of the things I've had the pleasure it to become kind of a spokesman for that whole Long-Term Ecological Research program. Which, in fact, has caught on. It's so clear to other people and other countries - to see this concept spreading to 00:30:00other countries and becoming very highly internationalized. I've continued to be involved in these long-term activities and I want it made clear here and now that I never did intent to stem map the entire Cascade Range Experimental Forest. That was suggested at times by the Andrews group here. That wasn't my intention. In fact, I was a piper, and when I look at somebody like Hubble, who mapped 50-hectare plots, I wonder why we set our sights so low. But, in any case, on the long-term plots, I do want to also say I don't think anyone could have been any more fortunate than I have been to have had students and research 00:31:00associates come along who were so attuned to those and so willing to commit their time and their energy for that kind of activity. People like Mark Harmon and Tom Spies. They picked up that string, they didn't just pick it up and continue it, they made it so much better than I could have imagined. It's been a tremendous reward for me - and Peter [Frenzen] at Mount St. Helens, as well.

Mount St. Helens. That was the next life. That was a fairly short life. Shorter that I think Peter and some of the others of us would like to have been. But, it was intense while it was happening and it was a marvelous 2- to 3-years period there where Jim Sedell, Fred Swanson, and I, Peter, spent an awful lot of time focused on what was happening at Mount St. Helens. It was very exciting. We had 00:32:00tremendous support from both the Station and the National Science Foundation in those first 2 to 3 years. Boy, did we have some pulses - those were pulses to end all pulses. 120 people at one, 150 at another, 4 helicopters going simultaneously, WOW. I look at some of the videos of that today and I get a rush seeing all of these helicopters turning over and lifting up in the morning. All these scientists going up to gather numbers. Vietnam brought to the Cascades! Apocalypse Now, that's right. But, besides the excitement, the tremendous scientific discoveries that came out of that. I think for us, one of the really 00:33:00significant things for us was recognizing a way, relearning a way that ecosystems perpetuate themselves. You know, we really did. We looked at the TV screen, we said, "Hey, what's that sterile - it's a moonscape - sterile. It's all gonna start from scratch." None of it started from scratch, basically. The place was full of life. That eruption of survivors and those legacies of dead organic materials ended up being very significant elements. What it did was circle back then on other kinds of disturbances, and we relearned the way in which disturbances leave behind these incredible legacies and are very patchy in their disturbance patterns. That has a lot of implications for us. Not just in interpreting how nature works, but in terms of interpreting what might happen in 00:34:00the various kinds of forest management treatments. No, clearcutting is NOT just like wildfire.

The eighth life. Old growth. Now, you know, a number of these things in my life I have become aware of - a seed is sort of planted, and if you are patient and just wait for the opportunity, it's going to break dormancy and bloom at some point along the line. Old growth is that kind of thing. Old-growth forests have always been my first love. I was raised in them as a kid. I didn't know it, but they had real profound meaning to me. And, as I went through my early years as a professional forester, it hurt me that nobody saw any value in those forests. 00:35:00They literally did not. There was no one prepared to say a good word about an old-growth forest in the '50s or in the '60s. I know there had to be values there, but there was no opportunity to pursue that. There was no funding available for that kind of thing.

The Station said in 1961, we've done all the work on old growth we need to do; we know how to cut it down, we know how to reforest, that's all we need to know. There was a firm perspective at that point. We have other things to get onto that are a helluva lot more important. Well, IBP was the opportunity to begin to go into those forests and really learn something about them and how they were working. Something no one had ever done before. They had looked at the 00:36:00autecology of Doug-fir and hemlock and learned about harvest cutting systems, but nobody had asked any questions about how those forests went together, how they worked.

The IBP was our opportunity and, I might add, it was a struggle to get that IBP program focused on the old growth. First, we had jerked some of the money away from UW, that was hard enough. Then we had a helluva catfight around here about whether we were going to do the proper thing, which was study the managed, young Douglas-fir stands, where were really where the future is, or whether we were going to go into one of these old-growth forests and look at it. And, fortunately, we made the decision we're going to look at the old-growth forest. We're gonna look at Watershed 10, not our favorite watershed by any means, but it's a unit watershed that Fredriksen had been working on. We have data on it, 00:37:00we're going to start there. And, that's what we did. And, of course, we had problems with the stream people. Whaddya mean study Watershed 10, there are no fish in that stream. There wasn't a stream ecosystem if there are no fish. Alright, Jim, you study Watershed 10, and you can study Mack Creek, too. Okay? That was the deal. In any case, we did get into the old-growth forest and the old-growth streams, and it didn't take six weeks before we began to have some real profound insights, that, hmmm, there's some interesting things going on here. There are structures, there's - Oh my God! The forests are actually 00:38:00productive. Look at the big logs! Do you think they might has some function? There are sure a lot of them. One thing we did, we started out, because we didn't know any intelligent questions to ask about it, we just stared out by making budgets. It didn't take long into counting stuff before you begin to think there may be some other kinds of questions you could ask about these things. The fact that you've got these big stacks of logs or one thing or another may give you some insight as to what those questions are. In any case, out of that program came the realization there was significant values in old-growth forests. There are significant values in natural forests and these must be taken account of. By God, they are going to be taken care of! And this 00:39:00is not a value judgement, that this is more important than that. It's simply, let's let all of these values, the merits and demerits of these various systems be on the table. At least we know before we make decision.

One person that gets some credit for this as much as anything, because he provided an excuse, is Jack Lindner, who was the land use planner on the Siuslaw National Forest at that point. Jack made the mistake of coming to me and saying, "You know, talking about old-growth forests, we really done know what they are. Do you suppose you could get some of your people together and tell us what they are? We know that they are more than just big old trees." So, with that as a rationale, we had our first workshop on old growth, and produced Ecological Characteristics of Old-growth Douglas-fir Forests (PNW Station General Technical 00:40:00Report 181), which became the first comprehensive description of old-growth forests. And, of course, and because also of the emerging issue of owls and wildlife, we were able to get additional funding, brought Tom Spies here, and he just took off from that point. And, of course, we have learned a tremendous among since that report was published in 1981. So, I did get my wish in the sense that we were able to establish these values. We were able to make them heard, and they are part of the dialog and debate that's going on. No problem with that anymore.

So, I asked myself a few years ago, so, if the old growth is going to be taken care of more or less, if it has its advocates, and if the knowledge is out there 00:41:00so it's considered, what next? What is the most useful thing I could do from the standpoint of forests? Out of that came the wonderful, controversial concept, my ninth life, maybe my last life, called New Forestry. And, it sort of had its inception in part in our effort to try to get ecological concepts into National Forest planning. And the frustration that Fred and I had had in trying to have this happen - and it wasn't because a lot of the National Forest planners didn't want it to happen, we just didn't have the mechanisms, no processes for it. So, we were dealing with the question of how do we do this and how do we package this information? Linked with that was my feeling that the old-growth thing is going to come to its own resolution. What needs to be done in order to cut the 00:42:00best deal we can for forests in general, given that most forests are, in fact, going to be used in some way? So, those are basically the elements out of which the New Forestry concept emerged.

New Forestry wasn't my term. We had, I don't know, we must have had 25 hours of discussion, what shall this be called? Ecological forestry, alternative forestry, new forestry? All kinds of names offered, all of which had problems. One of Art McKee's favorites, he still uses it, is Gonzo Forestry. I don't think that would have gone too far, but it any case, that was the term that I decided. 00:43:00Okay, I'm tired of listening to the discussion. I'm just going to pick one, go with it, and see how it flies. The objective is to communicate, not with other foresters so much as to communicate with the public, to give them some idea that there is change occurring in forestry. And, there are alternative to traditional practices.

I had a big boost on this in 1986 when I went to Harvard Forest. I got into landscape ecology for the first time. Again, you know, landscape ecology for me was sort of like ecosystems - what the hell is landscape ecology? Then I just ended up plunging into something, and, of course, in the analyses of dispersed-patch clearcutting and the problem that it creates for fragmentation. In any case, this New Forestry, this effort to integrate ecological and economic 00:44:00objectives at various scales from the stand to the region. This is really in many ways my current incarnation. That's where most of my time trying, in fact, to develop the concepts, expand them, but also to correct misimpressions, which I find takes up more and more of my time. I've discovered with a concept like New Forestry, everybody sort of views it with their greatest possible fears. So, to the industry it is feared that it's going to mean leaving behind all kinds of green trees on "their" lands. Of course, the conservationists, on the other hand, feel this is going to be their excuse for cutting everything that's left. Everybody sort of views it from its ground of greatest possible negative outcome.


There are some other things, of course, involved, and the Gang of Four is one. Working with Congress has been kind of a very interesting proposition for me and, as with most of these things, was something that just happened. Jolene Unsold [Representative, southwest Washington] was an old friend of mine. She used to live here in Corvallis. I used to work with she and Willy on some of the conservation stuff. After she got elected [to Congress] she called me up and said, "I know you've got to have some ideas to help us out on this terrible problem we have with timber and wildlife conflicts." "Jolene," I said, "I have no short-term solutions to offer at all, in fact, anything I can offer is just going to make the short-term worse because what I'm thinking about is long-term solutions." And she said, "Well, come and talk to me about it anyway." The next 00:46:00thing I knew she had be talking to ...

[tape break]

...involved in the Olympic [Natural Resources] Center. I shake my head - how did this happen to me? This is not what I came to Seattle to do. I remember telling Dean Thorud when they hired me, I want it understood I'm not coming there to build a big program. I've done that once. I don't want to do it again. I'm coming here to be an ordinary professor and work with some graduate students, do a little writing, so don't expect big bucks. So, what have we done? But, again, 00:47:00it's just one of these situations where there was an outstanding opportunity opening up to really get some resources to focus on some of these forestry issues. And, being who I am, I just couldn't resist. So, with Gordon Smith, the executive director of the Center, we are in the process of not trying to create a duplicate of the Andrews. It's a different environment, it's a different situation. But, in fact, trying to create ecological, silvicultural, biodiversity capability in western Washington, not just on the Olympic Peninsula, but we certainly intend to have a major presence of the Olympic Peninsula including a field station.

One thing that I'm really looking forward to is I've always wanted to be in the 00:48:00tops of some of these old trees. But, I'm just not much for exposure, that is to say, hanging from a rope. I'm not into that a whole lot, and I'm getting older. My bones are getting brittle, so the only way I'm going to get into the canopy is if someone puts me there, like with a crane. And, so, we're in the process right now of acquiring a large construction crane, which we are going to put in an old-growth forest probably on the Olympic Peninsula. But, by gosh, I'm going to get into one of those canopies. That's a very special aspect of the Olympic Center for me.

What have I learned out of this? What's it all mean, Fred? [reference to a Mr. Natural cartoon] I learned a lot of lessons. Unfortunately, I can't always apply 00:49:00them, because my temperament is such that sometimes I don't do what I know is, in fact, the best thing to do. But, I certainly have leaned, among other things, the value of persistence and patience. And, you can see how some of those seeds which lay dormant for many years were able to come to fruition when the time was ripe. The idea of doing work on old growth, it blossomed when, in fact, we had the IBP program. That thing became, in fact, the inciter of and contributor to New Forestry. There's a strong thread in that whole process. I really don't 00:50:00understand at times how things could have worked out so well and how important it has been just to hold on some things until the opportunity was ripe. No, I can't rightly think of anything that I thought I wanted to do that in fact didn't come to be. If I could just let go of it until the time was right for it. These days I have to remind myself about that, as my wife knows. Don't push the damn horn on some of this stuff, give it time. It'll develop. But, you get impatient. I guess the older you get, you learn the value of patience, but, as you see, oh my gosh, I haven't got forever! You push sometimes.

Another thing that has been really important to me is working with other people 00:51:00as a team. I cannot emphasize that enough and I cannot acknowledge the people I've worked with over the years enough. Beginning and just with another colleague Ted Dyrness for so many years, and then developing the core group of the Andrews and an enlarged group. This group of people here has had everything to do with what I have been able to accomplish. I was talking, coming down here to Phyllis [wife] and Gordon [Smith] about all of the good ideas that I have had have come out of my interactions with other people. Every cockeyed one of them. This isn't to say that I pirated other people's ideas; I may have, and, if I 00:52:00did, I apologize. But, that interactive process that has gone on particularly with these people here at the Andrews has been incredibly stimulating and set me of in directions I just never would have thought of. It's provide me with ammunition, with insight, with information I didn't even know I need to have. It's truly been probably one of the two most important factors of my being able to accomplish what I've accomplished. It's been done as part of an interactive group. And I thank all of you who have been a part of that process, and that's probably most of you in this room.

Another thing that I've learned, I'm proud of, is the need to have the potential 00:53:00for growth. Although Leopold for me has been a wonderful model of a scientist who was able to let go of earlier dogma, earlier base systems, and move ahead, I've been able to let go of beliefs about predator control, about fire control, other things, and, as information became available, as facts developed, then moved on to a new understanding of those systems. For the most part, I think I've been able to do that; and I think it has served me very well in terms of being able to recognize the truth is continually evolving. It's not only multifaceted, but truth never stands still for very long at all, as more 00:54:00information accumulated. You know, for me, I've had to give up some very deeply held belief systems; one of them was the merit of the staggered clearcutting system, which I defended for many, many years as being the way to do business. I have come to recognize that, oh, there are some parts of the business that I really don't think are very good. But, I think that's one of the lessons I've learned, and I'm trying to teach to my students now.

Don't lock yourself in for life with a particular concept; stay open. I know Fred may accuse me of not being completely open to new ideas, I think we've been debating over the issue of fire and Douglas-fir for probably 50 years now. I've moved, incrementally. Nevertheless, I think, for me, that has been one of the lessons.


One other comment I might add is simply, again, in terms of working as a team, one of the most fun aspects of the tem stuff has been the pulses. Pulses for me are the highlighting of the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing in excess. Boy, I tell you, those pulses have been excessive, and they've been stimulating and I think they have done an awful lot of good science. I recommend that kind of approach to anyone who has to develop, build, and maintain a team. 00:56:00I think the concept works well. It's something I intend to continue doing for some time in the future, as long as the firewood holds out.

Well, I think I'll close. I don't have a whole lot of crystal ball about the future. The last decade has been one where I just couldn't have imagined what was going to happen around the corner. To imagine what's going to happen either in management or in science in the rest of this century, I don't really have the foggiest idea. You know, I go back 10 years and I would have told you that the only old growth that's going to be preserved is what happens to be in parks, wilderness, and the occasional Research Natural Area; that it won't amount to 00:57:00more than 3 or 4 percent of the entire landscape. I believed that. That's the way it looked. So, that would have been a very good crystal ball, Fred. Trying to imagine now what's going to happen in science over the rest of this century, I just can't imagine that. I look around at what people like Tom [Spies] and Mark [Harmon] and the group here are doing, what the group in Seattle is doing, and the new tools are giving them capabilities so we can now begin to as questions no one even thought to ask previously, because they were irrelevant, they were not things you could do. Sort of like the construction crane in the 00:58:00canopy does [at Wind River Experimental Forest]. Because the physiologists and the climatologists and invertebrate zoologists, etc., had never even asked the question because the system didn't exist, the tools, measurement capabilities, and now we do.

So, I guess my best advice in science would be to maintain some of those long-term perspectives of those long-term databases, recognize that they are going to be used for things you don't even think about right now. If Leo Isaac knew what we'd use the alder-conifer plots for, it would have blown his mind. Do we care about relative growth of alder and conifer based on that, not a bit. What did we learn? We learned a helluva lot. We learned a lot about fungi, a lot 00:59:00about nitrogen fixation, etc. Maintain, build those long-term databases, and those well-designed experiments that have the ability to adapt to new questions. And then just stay open to the technologies and the questions that those technologies open up to you. And, very clearly, we are moving into an era in ecology where academic ecology, ecology done without any regard to application or to the role of a human is passe. It's not where it's going to be in the future. It isn't to say we don't need to do basic ecology, but we're going to be doing an awful lot of relevant kinds of ecology. Science, maybe not directly but quickly, comes to be relevant and I think you can take the Andrews program as an 01:00:00outstanding example.

What's going to happen in management is probably even more murky than what's going to happen in this century. I haven't the foggiest notion of what the next year is going to hold. Who is going to have the upper hand? And what the solution is going to be. Will the radical extremes in the end tear the whole thing apart? Try to partition it? If they do, the outcomes are going to be far less desirable than, in fact, if we find some way to integrate our various perspectives and emphases. I'm not at all sure what's going to happen. If you had asked me a month ago, I was pretty sure what was going to happen. The 01:01:00Speaker of the House terminated that. Congress was on a roll. We were going to do some legislation; it was going to be based on the Gang of Four report. The Speaker of the House said, "No way, Mr. Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Mr. Chairman of the Merchant Marine Fisheries Committee, Mr. Chairman of the Interior Committee. I do not want a bill on the floor of the House before April." Why? Because there are at least four additional processes going on that may provide a rat hole - some way out to delay resolution of the conflict, alter the terms of the conflict. This all would have gotten another six months of uncertainty.

Don't have the foggiest notion of how it's going to come out. Some of the outcomes could be very profound. And there are times when things make major 01:02:00changes when the old stuff is completely out and entirely new directions emerge. Not necessarily as a result of rational processes.

We could see the dismemberment of the Forest Service. It can happen. We can have a New Zealand solution here in the United States. Where, if, in fact, the agency does not prove itself capable of dealing with the political, social environment, the National Forests are partitioned.

The New Zealanders took their forest and gave some of their commercial forest land to the New Zealand Forest Services and said, "You are a timber corporation. You grow timber on an economic basis." And they took all the remaining forests and they gave it to the Park Service. Now, there are some real problems with 01:03:00what they did, not the least of which was they didn't give the Park Service people either authority or money to do anything. But, that's neither here nor there.

Those are the kinds of radical solution that can come out of chaotic times. I hope that isn't what comes out. I hope, in fact, the institutions work and I hope the agency proves capable of making this transition. It remains to be seen in my own mind whether it will or not. And it remains to be seen whether it will exist as a Forest Service when its 100th anniversary arrives in the year 2005.

I've worked for the Forest Service for 34 years. I decided when I was 10 years old that I wanted to work for the Forest Service. I wanted to be a ranger. I 01:04:00haven't been sorry at all. It's been a wonderful organization and I still love it very much. But, I fear for it. I certainly have loved this group of people here in Corvallis and this program that we built around the Andrews Experimental Forest. It's been a major part of my life and it's going to stay a major part of my life. I'm not going to go away and leave you alone. I am going to be back here and you're probably going to have another retirement party. I hope that happens in 10 or 15 years.

I thank you all for having me down and having this shindig for me, and I 01:05:00especially want to thank you, Fred. It is so satisfying to be able to move on to other stages in your life and leave your legacy in such good hands - whether it's your plots, your program, or the entire leadership of the Andrews ecosystem group, as was the case with Fred. Now, it makes it a lot easier, makes transitions a helluva lot easier when you have this kind of a group of people. So, I thank you.

I see she slipped in after I started. Phyl [wife Phyllis], I would love for you to come up here. I want to introduce you. I know this is very hard for her. She hates like the dickens to be the center of things. A lot of you don't know Phyllis, some of you do, but this the best thing that's happened to me in 01:06:00Seattle. This is Phyllis. We are looking forward to visiting with you, and we're looking forward to dinner tonight. I also want to thank my son, will you stand up with your wife, please, for the stage props.

FRED SWANSON: I have just a few review comments that I hoped would be made, and you've hit on these points quite explicitly. Legacies have been a theme that you 01:07:00develop here a little bit in your discussion this afternoon, and you've developed as a concept in thinking about the science of disturbance ecology. I think that's really what you've done for us. You've left legacies of people and places in your program, and, as you went through your 9+ lives, how many of us who have entered this room and this collective enterprise have come through one of those lives or another. There are various of us who have come in as representatives and participants of different cohorts, such as the IBP post-doc cohort. And, there's the LTER post-doc cohort, and there are the students sprinkled throughout, and there is the RNA scientist pathway into this group. There are many, many of us who would not be here, if you hadn't created the 01:08:00place to come to.

And then, concerning places, there's a certain irony, because many have accused Jerry of being the arch Timber Beast within the Andrews group. The person who is responsible for most of the logging over the Andrews in the last decades. When you think about your role and the establishment of various types of properties for research, particularly RNAs and the Biosphere Reserves, and your roles with experimental forests, like Cascade Head and Wind River, with your use-it-or-lose-it philosophy, I think the Timber Beast is probably responsible for socking away the most acres in terms of being in reserves, particularly for 01:09:00use by researchers. These places are not just pieces of real estate, but they are places that many people are deeply committed to and there's a body of knowledge that has been developed by the researchers and the managers involve in each of these places. So, there's a real human aspect to these places. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is another place that you found compelling and had a big imprint on its use and the future use by the public. And, then, programs, as you talked about; you established this team over the last 20 years. You've led LTER to become a team of teams, which is an enterprise that is just being defined now under your leadership. At the same time, the Chinese, the Canadians, and various groups in Europe are looking to establish similar 01:10:00networks and they are looking to this network, so there's a networking among networks among teams. Also, in the program areas, you are really spearheading new concepts in regional conservation programs. So, you've just left us with an incredible collection of legacies. And, we thank you very much.

At this time, I'd like to open the floor to comments, corrections in Jerry's recollections of history - or anything - particularly by folks who will not be available this evening to make comments at that time. I would like to reserve as many comments for this evening as possible when we're a little more open-ended on time.


GEORGE BROWN: (Chair, Department of Forests Engineering; Dean, College of Forestry, OSU) How long have I known Jerry Franklin? It goes back to 1964. Up on Blue River West. I worked for Ted [Dyrness] and for Jack Rothacher to begin my graduate program. Spent a lot of time on Andrews with Dyrness. In the evenings, we would get together in this little trailer. About the first couple of times 01:12:00this guy walks in that shared the trailer with us with a backpack, plant press, topographic map, and probably two packs of colored pencils from MacGregors. I said to Ted, "Who is this guy?" "Jerry Franklin." I said, "What does he do?" "He is a descriptive ecologist." I thought, only in America could a young man with a plant press, topographic map, and two packages of colored pencils from MacGregors go as far as he's gone. Jerry, congratulations.


BOB ETHINGTON: (Director, PNW Station) I would point out that the administration saw a set of antennae showing, sort of like a cockroach. Those antennae, instead of searching out food, they were searching out controversy. [Audience: Were those antennae or horns?] It occurred to me he probably has leaden feet, because, if you're an administrator, you'd want Jerry to move in some direction. 01:14:00When you wanted him to move in one direction, he seemed to prefer to move in another. Can't move his feet.