Today's Forests Lack Color

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sun Dec 7 09:43:44 EST 1997

Jostnix wrote:
> dennis g garcia <dengar at> writes:
> >
>     For years I had been puzzled by how few people of color use the
> >national forests.  I initially believed this was due to the low number
>  of
> >people of color employed by the USDA Forest Service.
> Great Post!
> There are more people of color now employed by the USFS than ever.  An
> African-American is  Alabama's National Forest Headquaters which supervises
> four or five well as several other supervisory and professional
> positions.

Cool to hear that; but what about your state agency? Here, in Mass.,
there seems to be few if any blacks in the state forestery agency; or
any state agency for that matter. During the governship of Mike Dukakis
(in the '70's) - he pushed very hard for affirmative action and for
ending the ancient and SHAMELESS practice of nepotism and for the first
time ever I saw blacks working in state forests and campgrounds. As soon
as Dukakis lost to an old fashioned conservative (some guy named King);
out went the blacks and back came nepotism; more SHAMELESS than ever.

> The Alabama Forestry Commission has an African-American regional forester
> (there are four) and supervises over one quarter of the agencies workforce.
> >I have concluded that people in communities of
>  color, particularly the
> >African-American community, know little about
>  national forest system lands,
> >and virtually none of them realize that
>  these are public lands--their public
> >lands.
> This is an enigma and I've noticed the same thing.  However, the local golf
> course is a testiment that more and more ethnic minorities are using the
> out-of-doors - but they are not tramping off to the-back-woods.

Of course the backwoods are the hangout of the good old boy rednecks
with their pickup trucks with the gun racks; no wonder they don't go

Der Forestmeister

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