Vaux, an innovator of forestry policy and UC Berkeley professor
emeritus, dies at 88
Catherine Zandonella, Media Relations
- Henry James Vaux, Sr., a professor emeritus of forestry
at the University of California, Berkeley, and former chairman
of California's Board of Forestry, died on Dec. 22 in Berkeley
after a brief illness. He was 88.
best known for his contributions to the field of forest economics
and forest policy. His research in forestry formed the basis
for the development of modern forest practices and his leadership
was pivotal to the evolution of forest policy in California.
Over his 45-year career as a forestry economist, Vaux emphasized
the need for forestry practitioners to be accountable to the
public and for forest management decisions to be based on
strong scientific and professional principles.
James Vaux was one of the most innovative people in the forest
policy arena," said Richard B. Standiford, associate dean
for forestry in UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources.
"He was one of the giants in forestry in California."
views were frequently sought by legislators and policy makers
and he played a significant role in the development of California's
forestry laws during the 1960s and 1970s. These laws included
a forest practices act, which created for the state a public
trust responsibility to protect environmental attributes such
as soil and water on forested lands. He also played a key
role in a forest tax reform act which eliminated tax incentives
to harvest timber prematurely, and a forest improvement act
which created a fiscal partnership between the state and private
forest landowners aimed at improving forest management on
then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Vaux chairman of the state
Board of Forestry, which carried both policy and regulatory
responsibilities. He was subsequently appointed for a second
term and served in the position until 1983. Vaux's service
as chairman was noteworthy for reinvigorating the board's
policy-making role. Policies to strengthen the forestry profession,
to improve forest management practices, to improve forest
taxation and to improve forest resource planning were developed
under his leadership.
his career Vaux received many professional honors. Among them
were the Gifford Pinchot Medal awarded by the Society of American
Foresters and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American
Forestry Association. He was also a fellow of the California
Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement
of Science. UC Berkeley awarded him the Berkeley Citation
upon his retirement, and the UC Berkeley College of Natural
Resources established the Henry Vaux Forestry Education Center
at Blodgett Forest near Auburn. The Center was dedicated in
his honor in 1999.
the College of Natural Resources announced the establishment
of the Henry Vaux Distinguished Professorship in Forest Policy.
Funds for the professorship were raised through gifts from
several hundred of Vaux's colleagues, friends, former students,
and family members.
born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 1912. He graduated with a BS in
physics from Haverford College in 1933 and earned his MS in
forestry at UC Berkeley in 1935. He acquired extensive practical
experience by working as a forest engineer for the Crown Willamett
Paper Co. in Portland, Oregon, as a forest economist at the
Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and as an instructor
at Oregon State College (now University) in Corvallis.
worked as an economist with the U.S. Forest Service and spent
three years on active duty with the U.S. Navy Reserve in Washington,
D.C., during World War II. He completed his PhD in agricultural
economics from UC Berkeley in 1948 and joined the UC Berkeley
faculty the same year. In 1955 he was appointed dean of the
School of Forestry and for a decade guided the school through
a period of rapid growth. While serving as dean he proposed
the formation of the Wildland Research Center (now the Wildland
Resource Center) dedicated to research in wildland ecology
and management. He retired from UC Berkeley in 1978 but continued
to be active in research and teaching.
last 25 years of his life, Vaux spent much of his time establishing
a family home in the Alexander Valley, a wine-growing region
in Sonoma County. He was known to many of his friends and
colleagues as Hank.
survived by his daughter, Alice Vaux Hall of Portland, Oregon;
his son, Henry Vaux, Jr. of El Cerrito, Calif.; his daughter-in-law
Prindle A. Vaux of El Cerrito, Calif.; and three grandchildren.
of his life will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27
at the Men's Faculty Club at UC Berkeley. In lieu of flowers,
the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the
Henry Vaux Distinguished Professorship in Forest Policy, c/o
the College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-3100.