Discussion Paper

Marion Clawson's Contribution to Forestry

Apr 1, 1999 | Roger A. Sedjo

Abstract

Marion Clawson passed away in April 1998 at the age of 92. He was a giant in the field of resource and environmental economics who devoted the last decade and one-half of his professional career to forest and forest related issues. He produced over 30 professional books and hundreds of papers. This paper presents a broad overview of his career as an economist, with a focus on his work in and influence on forestry and forest policy. From the early 1970s through to his last professional book in 1983, and his final professional contributions in the mid 1990s, Clawson devoted most of his professional efforts to forest issues. His influence on forests and forest policy was substantial, especially in the context of public policy toward America's publicly owned forested lands. He served as an external critic of the Forest Service, regularly calling for greater attention to be given to issues of economic efficiency in the management of public lands. His influence was probably greatest during the period from the early 1970s, when his service on the President's Advisory Panel on Timber and the Environment stimulated his interest in forestry, through the mid 1980s. During this period he authored several books on forestry and a number of influential articles.