Box 1-1
Definitions of Sustainability, Sustainable Management, and Sustainable Development

"The greatest good for the greatest number in the long run" (Pinchot 1947).

"If sustainability means anything more than a vague emotional commitment, it must require that something be conserved for the very long run. It is very important to understand what that something is: I think it has to be a generalized capacity to produce economic well-being" (Solow 1993).

"The use of resources today in such a way to allow for a full range of options for utilization by future generations" (Northern Forest Lands Council 1994).

"Forest management practices for which the outcome will be sustained yield" (Northern Forest Lands Council 1994).

"Although defined differently by different people, sustainability [nevertheless] represents a growing concern about the adequacy of mineral resources to meet future demands and do so without unacceptable environmental degradation" (National Research Council 1996).

"Since sustainable forest management is only possible within the ultimate constraints and limits imposed by the ecosystem, sustainability should be viewed as the degree of overlap between ecological possibilities and socially desired benefits of forests" (Noss 1993).

"Sustainable development is development to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987).

"Sustainable forestry means managing our forests to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air, and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and aesthetics" (American Forest and Paper Association 1995a).

Committee Perspective

Concepts of sustainability encourage strategic thinking about the long-term effects of decisions and guide the design of policies and programs that will result in the better use and management of nonfederal forests (Box 1-2). Sustainable management of America's nonfederal forests means caring for these forests in a manner that will allow them to continue contributing to the future well-being of the nation to the extent consistent with their ability to provide benefits at acceptable



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