Professional ethics involve statements by a professional organization to guide the behavior of its members, and to help them determine acceptable and unacceptable behavior in a given situation. Most, if not all, natural resource organizations have Code of Ethics. How to incorporate them across the curriculum and in individual courses of a natural resources program is a current challenge to faculty and administrators alike. We propose to capitalize on the role that professional ethics play in the daily activities of forestry and wildlife professionals engaged in hardwood resources management. Many hardwood stands today are subject to "selective harvesting" whereby trees of choice species and of the best quality are removed with little or no thought towards the future development of the stand or the benefits that landowners will derive from it (after Helms 1998). They are simply mined of the standing timber to the detriment of hardwood resource sustainability. A case study example relevant to the appropriateness of diameter-limit harvesting in a southern bottomland hardwood stand is presented as one way to integrate discussion of technical issues in forestry and wildlife management and professional ethics related to this practice. We propose its use in college and continuing education courses. Questions presented after the case study will help participants integrate knowledge of the ecology, silviculture, and management of bottomland hardwoods with the Code of Ethics of several professional organizations, including the Society of American Foresters and The Wildlife Society. Discussion of the issue will also help them to better appreciate the options for sustainable management of the bottomland hardwood resource.
Lockhart, Brian Roy and Nyland, Ralph D.
"Teaching professional codes of ethics to forestry and wildlife students: A case study using diameter-limit harvesting in a bottomland hardwood stand,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 12
, Article 27.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol12/iss1/27