Jim Petersen

Jim Petersen
Evergreen Magazine

When the Forest Service needed money from Congress to fight fires, they sent for Bill.

When they needed money to build roads for forest access, they called Bill and he went to bat for them.

When the idea (from industry) to start a national tree farm program was conceived in 1941, Bill was given the task to "sell it" to private timberland owners. One of the most successful programs to perpetuate working forestlands in our nations history, now has over 90,000 voluntary, paying members.


Corks & Suspenders
Memoir of an Early Forester
by William D. Hagenstein

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Forward by Jim Petersen.

Corks & Suspenders: Memoir of an Early Forester is Bill Hagenstein’s story, written in his own words, a memoir of the heart laid at history’s doorstep by a man who is perhaps American’s greatest living forester.

A gifted orator with a photographic memory, Hagenstein was for more than 40 years the most articulate spokesman and passionate defender for American forestry. In his 35 years as executive vice president of the old Industrial Forestry Association, he testified before Congress more than 250 times and spoke publicly 770 times – once every 10 working days.
No living American has done more to help advance the cause of forestry, real, science-based forest management, free of political betrayal and all of its modern-day hubris than Bill Hagenstein. Now 95, he remains as passionate about forestry as he was 70 years ago, and his message has never changed: good forestry is good for America.
Hagenstein gives most of the credit for his extraordinary success to his widowed Irish mother, Jennie, and his late wife, Ruth, two tough as nails women who saw greatness in him and would not allow him to quit when his lesser angels would have betrayed him.
Despite his towering achievements, Hagenstein remains a modest man. During one of our numerous interviews, I asked him how he wanted to be remembered. “I was a worker in the vineyard,” he replied. “That’s all, just a worker in the vineyard.”

- Jim Petersen • Evergreen Magazine • Bigfork, Montana • March 13, 2010

Bill Hagenstein....

Bill Hagenstein’s story is the story of forestry in America. When I read his book I could hear him telling his stories as if I was there with him. It not only traces his exploits fighting fires, harvesting trees, and as “missionary” for good forestry with the WCLA and the IFA, it truly makes the history come alive. Thank goodness Colonel Greeley hired this forester. He has given much to the profession and to the nation. All foresters, conservationists, and anyone remotely interested in forest policy, will find nuggets of wisdom and practicality throughout.

- Steven Anderson, President Forest History Society


Corks & Suspenders by William D. Hagenstein © 2010 • Available through GLTC/Book.
For other ordering information: 541-345-2301 • PO Box 989 • Eugene, OR 97440
© 2010 All photos by Mike McMurray • site by MEI Productions