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Inventory of the Arthur W. Cooper Papers, 1967 - 1987

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Arthur W. Cooper has been a leader in North Carolina forestry, professor of resource policy and administration, and member of the national Committee of Scientists. Per the 1976 National Forest Management Act, the Committee of Scientists counciled and advised the Secretary of Agriculture during the development of national forest management planning regulations, from 1977 to 1979. Although officially disbanded as a committee in 1979, the Reagan administration brought the individual members of the COS together once again as a group of independent consultants for the purpose of reevaluating and limiting national forest management regulations.
The collection includes materials that the USDA Committee of Scientists (COS) either consulted or generated in its review of national forest management planning regulations from 1977 to 1979. The papers include correspondence, minutes of COS meetings, copies of testimony presented at congressional hearings, preliminary and draft versions of the COS final report, and public comments about proposed regulations. Also included are public comments reviewed by COS members during the Reagan adminstration's reassessment of national forest management regulations.
Title: Arthur W. Cooper Papers, 1967 - 1987
Creator: Cooper, Arthur W.
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 7085
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 7.0 linear feet
(4 record cartons, 2 archival boxes)

Biographical and Historical Note

Arthur W. Cooper

Arthur W. Cooper has been a leader in North Carolina forestry, professor of resource policy and administration, and member of the Committee of Scientists.

Arthur ("Art") W. Cooper received bachelor and master of arts degrees in 1953 and 1955 from Colgate University in New York and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1958. Cooper served the North Carolina Department of Natural and Economic Resources as assistant secretary from 1971 to 1976. He served as president of the Ecological Society of America, chair of the Appalachian Society of American Foresters, president of the North Carolina Academy of Sciences, chair of the USDA Committee of Scientists, and chair of Governor James B. Hunt's Task Force on Sustainable Forestry in North Carolina. In 1980, he was appointed head of the Department of Forestry at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, N.C. As of the year 2000, Dr. Cooper remains a member of the NCSU faculty and teaches courses in forest resource policy and administration. Cooper is the recipient of the 1999 Gifford Pinchot Medal, awarded annually by the Society of American Foresters to persons who have made outstanding achievements and contributions to the forestry profession.


Committee on Scientists

The 1976 National Forest Management Act (NFMA) called for the establishment of a committee that would council and advise the secretary of agriculture during the development of national forest management planning regulations, as required by the NFMA. In November 1976, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz asked the National Academy of Sciences for assistance in selecting non-U.S. Forest Service personnel for appointment to the Committee of Scientists (COS). In April 1977, Secretary Butz named the members of the Committee of Scientists:

  • Arthur W. Cooper, committee chair (professor, NCSU School of Forest Resources)
  • Thadis Box (dean, Utah State University College of Natural Resources)
  • R. Rodney Foil (dean, Mississippi State University School of Forest Resources)
  • Ronald W. Stark (graduate dean and coordinator of research, University of Idaho)
  • Lucille F. Stickel (director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Stickel and Webb served consecutively)
  • Earl L. Stone, Jr. (professor, Cornell University Department of Agronomy)
  • Dennis E. Teeguarden (professor of forestry economics, University of California)
  • William Webb (professor emeritus, N.Y. State College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Stickel and Webb served consecutively)

From 1977 to 1979, the Committee of Scientists held a number of meetings and drafted a series of proposed regulations for multiple-use management of U.S. national forests. The committee's final recommendations were approved and went into effect in October 1979.

Although officially disbanded as a committee in 1979, the Reagan administration brought the individual members of the COS together once again as a group of independent consultants serving in the capacity of a "panel of experts" for the purpose of reevaluating and limiting national forest management regulations. The consultants reviewed existing regulations and received additional public comments before suggesting that the Reagan administration keep the original regulations developed by the Committee of Scientists, which the administration reluctantly did.


Collection Overview

The collection includes materials that the USDA Committee of Scientists (COS) either consulted or generated in its review of national forest management planning regulations from 1977 to 1979. The papers include correspondence, minutes of COS meetings, copies of testimony presented at congressional hearings, preliminary and draft versions of the COS final report, and public comments about proposed regulations. Also included are public comments reviewed by COS members during the Reagan adminstration's reassessment of national forest management regulations.

The materials are housed in four cartons and two manuscript boxes.

Collection Arrangement

In processing the collection, the archivist removed duplicate materials, replaced rusty fasteners, and photocopied acidic papers onto alkaline-buffered paper. Documents within files have either a chronological or reverse chronological order based upon their original order.

The papers consist of four series:

I. Meeting Materials, 1967-1979

II. Correspondence, 1977-1981

III. Committee of Scientists Report, 1972-1983

IV. Committee of Scientists Activity During the Reagan Administration, 1982-1987



Subject Headings

  • Box, Thadis W.
  • Cooper, Arthur W.
  • Foil, R. Rodney
  • Forest conservation -- United States
  • Forest management -- United States
  • Forestry law and legislation -- United States
  • Natural resources -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Stark, Ronald W.
  • Stickle, Lucille F.
  • Stone, Earl L. (Earl Lewis), 1915-
  • Teeguarden, Dennis E.
  • United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Committee of Scientists
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1977-1981
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989
  • Webb, William

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Meeting Materials, 1967-1979.

Includes minutes of Committee of Scientists (COS) meetings, as well as overview materials about the committee and background reading materials that COS members consulted prior to meetings.
Box 1
Table of Contents to Committee of Scientists (COS) Minutes of Meetings held from May 1977 to January 1978 (compiled by Society of American Foresters, August 31, 1978)
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Washington, D.C., May 24-26, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Boise, Idaho, June 19-21, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Juneau, Alaska, July 27-28, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Denver, Colorado, August 29-30, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 21-23, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: San Francisco, California, October 27-28, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Atlanta, Georgia, December 1-2, 1977
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Phoenix, Arizona, January 16-18, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Biloxi, Mississippi, February 23-24, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Dallas, Texas, March 29-30, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Washington, D.C., April 17-18, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Washington, D.C., July 14, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Denver, Colorado, September 28-29, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Washington, D.C., November 1-2, 1978
Box 1
Public Meeting on NFMA Regulations: Washington, D.C., November 27, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Sacramento, California, December 7-8, 1978
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Houston, Texas, January 8-9, 1979
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Washington, D.C., January 26, 1979
Box 1
COS Minutes of Meetings: Asheville, North Carolina, June 20-22, 1979
Box 1
COS Overview Materials, 1972-1977
Includes information on the establishment and mission of the committee; copies of administrative guidelines and management controls; summary information on the NFMA and the RPA; public involvement plans; information on timber removal and roadless areas on national forests; planning documents; and overview of COS tasks and responsibilities.
Box 1
COS Meeting Materials, January to March 1978
Includes information reviewed by committee members in preparation for COS meetings.
Box 1
COS Meeting Materials, 1977 and March to June 1978
Includes information reviewed by committee members in preparation for COS meetings.

2. Correspondence, 1977-1981.

Includes correspondence by and between Committee of Scientists members.
Box 2
COS General Correspondence, 1977
Box 2
COS General Correspondence, 1978
Box 2
COS General Correspondence, 1979
Box 2
COS General Correspondence, 1980-1981

3. Committee on Scientists Report, 1972-1983.

Includes such diverse materials as testimony presented at hearings relating to NFMA regulations, versions of NFMA regulations, COS discussion notes about the regulations, drafts and comments about various sections of the COS report, draft copies of the COS final report, an NFMA legislative history, notes about U.S. Forest Service regional planning, and supporting documents reviewed for the development of national forest planning regulations.
Box 2
NFMA Hearing in Juneau, Alaska, 27 July 1977: Materials, 1975, 1977, and undated
Includes testimony before the COS by concerned citizens, company representatives, and conservation groups; supporting reports; and articles relating to the multiple-use management of national forests in Alaska.
Box 2
Versions of August 31, 1978 NFMA Regulations, 1978
Includes comments and reviews of forest management regulations; draft copies of regulations published in the 31 August 1978 edition of the Federal Register.
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations Discussed at COS Meeting: Phoenix, Arizona, January 16-18, 1978: October 1977 to February 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Diversity, 1979 and 1978)
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Fish and Wildlife Resources: Drafts and Comments, October to November 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Harvesting Schedules: Drafts and Comments, December 1977, 1978, January 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Use of Interdisciplinary Approach in Multiple Use Planning: Drafts and Comments, June to December 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Planning for Use of Lands Not Suitable for Timber Harvesting: Drafts and Comments, July to December 1978, 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Management of Mineral Resources: Drafts and Comments, October to December 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Public Participation in USFS Planning: Drafts and Comments, 1978, February 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Range Management Planning: Drafts and Comments, 1978 and undated)
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Outdoor Recreation Planning: Drafts and Comments, 1978 and undated)
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Regional Planning: Drafts and Comments, March 1976, October to December 1978, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Research Monitoring and Control: Drafts and Comment, October 1978 to January 1979 and undated
Includes materials related to research on and monitoring of the effects of management plans on forest resources.
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Silvicultural Standards: Drafts and Comments, 1972, 1976, and 1978
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Maintaining Appealing Visual Qualities: Comments, November 1978
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Protection of Water and Soil Resources: Drafts and Comments, October to November 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Wilderness Planning: Drafts and Comments, December 1977, 1978, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Transition Period Required Before Full Implementation of Regulations: Comments, October 1978
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Forest Planning Procedure: Drafts and Comments, 1978 and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Forest Planning Process: Drafts and Comments, October 1978, February 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Resource Management Standards and Guidelines: Drafts and Comments, November 1978, January 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations regarding Coordination Among Government Programs: Drafts and Comments, June-December 1978, February 1979, and undated
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations: Comments on Draft by Wolf, circa 1978
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations: Comments on Draft by the Sierra Club, December 15, 1978
Box 2
Proposed NFMA Regulations: Comments on Draft by the National Forest Products Association, January 3, 1979
Box 2
Spurr, "Stephen H. Scientific Issues Posed By the National Forest Management Act." (Prepared for presentation at the January 7, 1979 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Houston, Texas.)
Box 2
Statements regarding RARE II, 1981, 1983, and undated
Box 2
Notes regarding RPA and NFMA, 1977
Box 3
NFMA Legislative History, 1976, 1978
Box 3
COS Final Report, 1979
Includes notes, comments, article reprints, and outlines of regulations considered for and/or incorporated in the COS final report.
Box 3
Notes regarding Organization and Content of COS Final Report, 1978, 1979, and undated
Box 3
"A Report of Ye Olde Committee of Scientists" (150 pages), February 9, 1979
Box 3
Final Report of the Committee of Scientists (229 pages), February 9, 1979, corrected February 22, 1979
Box 3
COS Final Report: Drafts and Comments, July to August 1978 and undated
Box 3
Draft of COS Final Report (heavily edited; 151 pages), February 9, 1979
Box 3
COS Final Report: Drafts and Comments, May to August 1979
Box 3
Draft of COS Report, 1978
Includes handwritten comments concerning edits for the report.
Box 3
Comments for COS Report, 1978
Includes correspondence and comments from industry executives, conservationists, and environmentalists about the COS report.
Box 3
"Draft Report of the Committee of Scientists to the Secretary of Agriculture Regarding Regulations Proposed by the U.S. forest Service to Implement Section 6 of the Renewable Resources Planning Act, as Amended" (119 pages), December 22, 1978
Box 3
COS Final Report: Executive Summary, Drafts, January to February 1979
Includes executive summary analysis of public comment on the proposed rules for national forest system land and resource management planning.
Box 3
Definitions Used in COS Report, 1978 and undated
Includes notes about the specific language to be included in the report.
Box 3
Introduction and Outline for COS Report, 1979-1978
Includes working draft of regulations and "December 29, 1978, Working Paper for Forest Service Manual 1920" (approximately 155 pages).
Box 3
COS Technical Review of Draft Regulations, February 6, 1979
Includes a 229-page report of the COS sent to Bob Bergland at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on this date.
Box 3
National Forest System Resource Planning: Drafts and Comments, March to April 1978
Includes multiple draft versions and comments about a document titled "Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Forest System Resource Planning."
Box 3
National Forest System Resource Planning: Drafts, Comments, and Reports, 1976-1977
Includes notes and drafts of reports concerning implementation of the RPA, the role of regional planning the U.S. Forest Service, and NFMA regulations.
Box 3
USFS Regional Planning, January 1978
Includes 192-page draft study.
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, 1973-1977
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, January to March 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, May to July 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, August to September 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, October to November 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, December 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, March to June 1979
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, July to August 1979
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, September to December 1979
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: General, 1980-1981, and undated
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Land and Resource Management Regulations as Required by NFMA, 1967, June to August 1977
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Land and Resource Management Regulations as Required by NFMA, September to October 1977
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Land and Resource Management Regulations as Required by NFMA, November 1977 to February 1978
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Land and Resource Management Regulations as Required by NFMA, March 1978, September 1978, December 1978, January 1979, and undated
Box 4
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Timber Harvest Scheduling, June 1976 and May to August 1977
Box 5
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Timber Harvest Scheduling, September to December 1977
Box 5
Supporting Documents Reviewed for National Forest Planning: Timber Harvest Scheduling, 1978, September to October 1979, and undated
Box 5
American Association for the Advancement of Science Symposium on NFMA held 1979 in Houston, Texas, June to July 1979 and undated
Note: Art Cooper, as chair of the COS, was invited to speak at a workshop on U.S. Forest Service regulations sponsored by the American Bar Association at this meeting.
Box 5
U.S. Forest Service Land Management Training Program, September 1979
Box 5
U.S. Forest Service Manual: New Directives for Land and Resource Management Planning, March 1980
Box 5
Review of DYNAMUSE System Dynamics Model, October 1983
Note: Art Cooper, as chair of the COS, was invited to review this program developed by Dr. Stephen Boyce for analyzing the likely effects of forest management activities.
Box 5
Review of NFMA Land and Resource Management Planning Regulations, February 22, 1982

4. Committee of Scientists Activity During the Reagan Administration, 1982-1987.

Includes materials relating to committee members' review of NFMA regulations while serving as a panel of experts at the request of the Reagan administration.
Box 5
Reagan Administration's Reassessment of NFMA Regulations: Comments, February to March 1982
Box 5
Reagan Administration's Reassessment of NFMA Regulations: Comments, April to May 1982
Box 6
Reagan Administration's Reassessment of NFMA Regulations: Comments, June 1982
Box 6
Reagan Administration's Reassessment of NFMA Regulations: Comments, July 1982
Box 6
Reagan Administration's Reassessment of NFMA Regulations: Comments, August to October 1982 and undated
Box 6
Comments from Society of American Foresters' RPA Tak Force Regarding Review of 1985 RPA Program, November 1986 to February 1987 and undated

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Arthur W. Cooper Papers, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Received from Arthur W. Cooper in August 1998.

Processing Information

Processed by Michele Justice, November 2000

Encoded by Amanda Ross, October 2008

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.