Robert B. Goodman
(1872 – 1957)
Inducted October 19, 1984
In recognition of his enthusiastic support for forest land tax reform and rural zoning, for his foresight and leadership in the application of forest management principles to his company’s timberlands and for his service as a member and chairman of the former Wisconsin Conservation Commission (1931-1939).
More about Robert B. Goodman:
Robert B. Goodman determined the ultimate destiny of the Goodman Lumber Company when he decided, in 1927, to abandon the traditional practice of clearcutting in favor of selective cutting management on the company’s 67,000 acres of timberland in northeastern Wisconsin. The sustained yield operation he inaugurated has been carried on through several successive changes in ownership. This reputedly has made the Goodman timber tract a privately owned commercial forest that has been managed longer than any other in the United States. Goodman was a staunch supporter of the Wisconsin Forest Crop Law and an ardent advocate of rural zoning. His influence in those fields did much to make his home county a leader in forestry and reformed land use.
When the Wisconsin Commercial Forestry Conference was held in Milwaukee in March 1928, R. B. Goodman presided as chairman of the Executive Committee. In the course of those proceedings, he presented a paper on the application of Wisconsin’s Forest Crop law to townships in the forested and cutover regions of the northern counties. Many municipalities subsequently followed the example set in Marinette County, as reported so persuasively by Goodman.
In 1932, Governor Philip Lafollette appointed a special committee on land use and forestry to study and make recommendations for policies that would restore the productivity of the state’s cutover areas. R. B. Goodman became chairman of that committee, which presented a report that virtually became a blueprint for positive action in the fields of rural zoning, forest land taxation and the management of both public and private forests.
B. Goodman was also a distinguished member and chairman of the former Wisconsin Conservation Commission from 1931 through 1939.