As the Obama administration sets out to determine the future for the 193-million-acre National Forest System, a coalition of conservation organizations is calling on people to make their voices heard. They’ll get that chance from March 29 through May 12 when the U.S. Forest Service hosts a series of roundtable discussions with citizens across the country to determine how the forests are managed for generations.
This year is shaping up to be a banner year for environmental policy. The Obama administration is making decisions based on sound science and reason, peeling away actions and policies created in the past administration that significantly weakened environmental protections. The administration is establishing a new hope for our forests and wildlife.
When Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stepped to the podium at a park in Seattle last week, he didn’t just make a speech about the Obama administration’s vision for managing national forests in the 21st century: He ushered in a whole new era for the Forest Service – one that makes restoring the health of our forests the top priority for the agency.
Thanks to a court victory last month that tossed out misguided ideas for how the U.S. should manage its forests, President Obama now has a golden opportunity to replace them with his administration’s principles.
The result could be a mandate for the Forest Service to make decisions about managing forests based on the 21st century imperatives of global warming and clean drinking water.