Steward of God's Creation Award

The Steward of God?s Creation award is bestowed to those individuals who exhibit courage and commitment in the caring and keeping of the earth in a heroic, distinguished and effective manner. Awardees are determined by a vote of religious leaders and bestowed at a public event, normally the National Prayer Breakfast for Creation Care, which is sponsored annually by a coalition of religious organizations and affiliates.


Chief Michael Dombeck, U.S. Forest Service
Washington, DC and Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Michael Dombeck Michael Dombeck made history as the only person to lead America’s two largest land management agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The New York Times has described him as “the most conservation-minded chief of the Forest Service since Gifford Pinchot.”

As Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Michael Dombeck stopped the logging of old growth forests and discussed the necessity of saving all remaining old growth trees on national forest lands. In this cause he introduced and supported the National Forest “Roadless Rule” which protected certain wild areas from logging of the remnants of old growth still remaining on national forest lands. While this act created a huge uproar among logging companies, it preserved a substantial portion of national forest lands. For his courageous stand in protecting and inventorying all remaining old growth forests on national forest land, the RCFC presented Michael Dombeck a 2001 Steward of the Forest award.

In his resignation letter several months later after the inauguration of a new Administration, Chief Michael Dombeck wrote,

“The values of old growth, as the public is coming to understand them, and as we understand them scientifically, far exceed their value solely for timber....

“I think it would be a feather in the cap of industry to engage in a dialogue to end old-growth harvest and, at the same time, work with mills that are dependent on old growth to develop the technologies to harvest second growth and smaller-diameter material and, frankly, capitalize on the technology and the markets that are out there....

“The mark of a truly wealthy nation is not measured in acres harvested, rivers dammed, oil barrels filled, or mountaintops mined. Our maturity is most ably displayed by demonstrating mastery over ourselves. Our willingness to say, ‘Enough, these ancient forests cannot be improved through commodity timber production’ honors our nation far more than engineering an expensive road to harvest an old-growth stand.”



Vincent Rossi
Chad Hanson


Dr. Bob Marshall
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Chief Michael Dombeck
Dr. Barak Gale


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