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The Forest and Culture Research Association received a presidential commendation on the ‘Day of the Mountain’ on October 18th. From left, Steering Committee Member Lee Chun-yong of the Forest and Culture Research Association, Nam Sung-hyeon, head of the Korea Forest Service, and Park Bong-woo, chairman. Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association

On October 18, at the ’21st Mountain Day’ commemoration ceremony held at Suncheonman Bay National Garden, the Forest and Culture Research Society received a presidential commendation. It was the only private organization to receive the award for the second time after 2002. It was recognized for contributing to the public forest protection activities of the first award, promoting forest culture, and designating a national forest cultural asset introduced in 2014. As the fourth president of the Forest and Culture Research Society, receiving the award as a representative reminded me of that day 30 years ago and felt new. On January 2, 1992, I was on my way to visit Professor Kim Jang-soo (1919-2004), who was the founding figure and teacher of Korea University’s Department of Forestry (Department of Forest Resources). As usual, the three musketeers gathered. All three classmates from the class of 1970 got married at Professor Kim’s ceremony and were 40 years old. “Now that we’ve become unlucky, let’s do something meaningful. Let’s do what we value most, know well, and do well. Let’s protect the forest.” It was the moment when the Forest and Culture Research Association was born. Jeon Yeong-woo, a professor at Kookmin University, Lee Cheon-yong, a forestry researcher at the Institute of Forest Science, Kangwon National University professor, and Lim Joo-hoon, a forestry researcher 6 years my junior, were together. A month later, Kim Ki-won, a professor at Kookmin University, who was five years his junior, joined the team. At that time, there was also a personal reason for making such a proposal. Earlier, in 1991, as a visiting professor at Colorado State University, I was deeply impressed by the community service activities of American citizens. Professors have lectures, research, and volunteering as their basic virtues. As a professor, I was thinking about what kind of volunteering I could do, and I came up with a job where I could share ‘theory and practice’ based on my major. As our first project, we decided to publish a newsletter and conduct a bi-monthly ‘visit to the beautiful forest’. In the inaugural issue (February 1992), we revealed the purpose and goal of the research association as follows. “We exchange our thoughts on trees and forests, humans and forests, environment and forests, and culture and forests, and record the importance of forests. Through these activities, we seek to re-recognize and develop the changing value of forests and pursue ecological harmony between forests and humans.”

The Forest and Culture Research Association held its 156th 'visiting a beautiful forest' last October.  Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association.

The Forest and Culture Research Association held its 156th ‘visiting a beautiful forest’ last October. Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association.

The Forest and Culture Research Association has published a bimonthly journal, 'Forest and Culture', since its founding in February 1992.  Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association

The Forest and Culture Research Association has published a bimonthly journal, ‘Forest and Culture’, since its founding in February 1992. Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association

Publications, including the 'Forest and Culture Series', which have been held since 1993 for academic discussions.  Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association

Publications, including the ‘Forest and Culture Series’, which have been held since 1993 for academic discussions. Provided by the Forest and Culture Research Association

‘Visiting the beautiful forest’ was a practical action, with the intention of changing the mountaineering culture of the concept of ‘conquering the summit’ and awakening the cultural value of the forest. The first ‘beautiful forest’ in March of that year was Wonju Sillim (Seonghwangrim) and Hwangjanggeumpyo. In 2003, he also started to visit beautiful forests abroad and conducted 15 visits to Croatia in 2019. In addition, ‘visiting a beautiful forest’ is also the origin of forest commentary in Korea. In 1996, at the request of the Korea Forest Service, a ‘forest commentary course’ was opened at Saneum Natural Recreation Forest in Yangpyeong for the first time in Korea. In 1998, along with Kookmin University, he opened a natural environment commentary guide course. Around 2000, the Korea Forest Interpreter Association was created as the perception that a ‘forest commentator’ was needed to inform the general public of the forest in order to properly enjoy, understand, and preserve it. In 2002, the Korea Forest Service newly established the Forestry Culture Department and established ‘Mountain Day’ to give awards to our research group as a gift for our 10th anniversary. On Mountain Day in 2014, he received a presidential citation in the individual category for his contribution to the development of forest recreation culture. The Forest and Culture Research Association opens its doors to not only the academic community but also to the general public who is interested in forests, to those who have something to say about forests, and to anyone who thinks forests are important. The academic debate, which started in 1993, has borne fruit with 29 volumes so far. More than anything, I am proud of the fact that I have grown for 30 years with only members’ dues and unpaid volunteer work, including members of the steering committee. I want to congratulate the 30th anniversary and award with 400 members. Park Bong-woo/President and shareholder of Forest and Culture Research Association

world. It will also be a memory for shareholders who have grown together. Parents, as well as family, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors can all send a congratulatory message by e-mail with a picture. Hankyoreon ([email protected]) or People Team ([email protected]).” alt=”We will pay the manuscript fee-<한겨레>remembers the shareholders and readers who sold the stone ring and raised shares in the name of the child when it was first published on May 15, 1988. In their 35th year, those children are becoming parents. Each new life in the age of low birth is so precious. ‘Congratulations’ is a gift given to the protagonists who will open a new world. It will also be a memory for shareholders who have grown together. Parents, as well as family, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors can all send a congratulatory message by e-mail with a picture. Hankyoreon ([email protected]) or People Team ([email protected]).” />

We will pay the manuscript fee- remembers the shareholders and readers who sold the stone ring and collected stocks in the name of the child when it was first published on May 15, 1988. In their 35th year, those children are becoming parents. Each new life in the age of low birth is so precious. ‘Congratulations’ is a gift given to the protagonists who will open a new world. It will also be a memory for shareholders who have grown together. Parents, as well as family, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors can all send a congratulatory message by e-mail with a picture. Hankyoreon ([email protected]) or People Team ([email protected]).

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