As student members of the national Society of American
Foresters, we strive to uphold its
ethics, reproduced here.
Service to society is the cornerstone of any profession. The
profession of forestry serves society by fostering stewardship
of the world's forests. Because forests provide valuable
resources and perform critical ecological functions, they are
vital to the wellbeing of both society and the biosphere.
Members of the Society of American Foresters have a deep and
enduring love for the land, and are inspired by the profession's
historic traditions, such as Gifford Pinchot's utilitarianism
and Aldo Leopold's ecological conscience. In their various roles
as practitioners, teachers, researchers, advisers, and
administrators, foresters seek to sustain and protect a variety
of forest uses and attributes, such as aesthetic values, air and
water quality, biodiversity, recreation, timber production, and
The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to protect and serve
society by inspiring, guiding, and governing members in the
conduct of their professional lives. Compliance with the code
demonstrates members' respect for the land and their commitment
to the long-term management of ecosystems, and ensures just and
honorable professional and human relationships, mutual
confidence and respect, and competent service to society.
On joining the Society of American Foresters, members assume
a special responsibility to the profession and to society by
promising to uphold and abide by the following:
Principles and Pledges
- Foresters have a responsibility to manage land for both
current and future generations. We pledge to practice and
advocate management that will maintain the long-term
capacity of the land to provide the variety of materials,
uses, and values desired by landowners and society.
- Society must respect forest landowners' rights and
correspondingly, landowners have a land stewardship
responsibility to society. We pledge to practice and
advocate forest management in accordance with landowner
objectives and professional standards, and to advise
landowners of the consequences of deviating from such
- Sound science is the foundation of the forestry
profession. We pledge to strive for continuous improvement
of our methods and our personal knowledge and skills; to
perform only those services for which we are qualified; and
in the biological, physical, and social sciences to use the
most appropriate data, methods, and technology.
- Public policy related to forests must be based on both
scientific principles and societal values. We pledge to use
our knowledge and skills to help formulate sound forest
policies and laws; to challenge and correct untrue
statements about forestry; and to foster dialogue among
foresters, other professionals, landowners, and the public
regarding forest policies.
- Honest and open communication, coupled with respect for
information given in confidence, is essential to good
service. We pledge to always present, to the best of our
ability, accurate and complete information; to indicate on
whose behalf any public statements are made; to fully
disclose and resolve any existing or potential conflicts of
interest; and to keep proprietary information confidential
unless the appropriate person authorizes its disclosure.
- Professional and civic behavior must be based on
honesty, fairness, good will, and respect for the law. We
pledge to conduct ourselves in a civil and dignified manner;
to respect the needs, contributions, and viewpoints of
others; and to give due credit to others for their methods,
ideas, or assistance.
The Society of American Foresters' Bylaws specify
processes through which a member's violation of the code may
lead to reprimand, censure, expulsion from the Society, or other
disciplinary action. Any two persons, whether or not SAF
members, may charge a member with violation of the code. Such a
charge must be made in writing to the SAF President and must
refer to the specific Pledges alleged to have been violated.
Adopted by the Society of American Foresters by Member
Referendum, November 3, 2000, replacing the code adopted June
23, 1976, as amended November 4, 1986, and November 2, 1992. The
1976 code replaced the code adopted November 12, 1948, as
amended December 4, 1971.
Most of our members have graduated, leaving
for new students to gain leadership experience. Contact
Dr. Germain to discuss which
role is right for you.
Growing forests, and foresters.