Forest Service history to be featured in film | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Forest Service history to be featured in film

Lake Tahoe Community College Theater hosts a free public screening of “Greatest Good,” a documentary film, on Friday at 7 p.m.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service, the feature-length documentary tells the story of the agency and its century of service.

The title of the film is from direction given to the foresters in 1905 by the agency’s first chief, Gifford Pinchot. Chief Forester Pinchot advised the new forest professionals: “Where conflicting interests must be reconciled, the question will always be decided from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.”

Gifford Pinchot’s legacy remains one of the cornerstones of America’s conservation movement, and his direction is still as meaningful and valid today as it was a century ago.

The two-hour film is narrated by Charles Osgood, best known to Americans as the host of “CBS Sunday Morning,” and one of broadcasting’s most recognizable voices. In four parts, the film traces the conditions and circumstances that led the country to conserve resources and manage the uses of our forests and grasslands. Although the film was created by the Forest Service, it does not avoid the controversies that have been a part of National Forest management and policy from its beginnings in 1905.

Rather, the film clearly shows the controversies, conflicts and changing attitudes as shaping the role and purpose of the Forest Service in managing what is now 191 million acres of the national forest system. In four parts, the film takes the viewer from the earliest days of the national forest idea to our present day and current challenges.

According to Rex Norman, Public Affairs Officer for the Forest Service at Lake Tahoe, the story has important lessons, not only from the past, but for the future, saying: “In 1905, when the Forest Service was established, we were only beginning a conservation movement in this country, and it took some visionary and rather courageous people to inspire it. Although Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and Gifford Pinchot are people from conservation’s past, the need for balanced, managed and sustainable forests and uses does not change – their examples can help guide us.”

For more information, contact the Forest Supervisor’s Office in South Lake Tahoe at 35 College Drive, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in person, or by calling (530) 543-2694.

The Duke Theater at Lake Tahoe Community College is adjacent to the main campus building. LTCC is located at 1 College Drive, off Al Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe.

The documentary film will also be shown in episodes during the summer at the Forest Service Taylor Creek Visitor Center. The schedule for these showings will be announced soon. Other locations are being sought on Tahoe’s North Shore for additional showings.


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