FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2012
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
New Forest Planning Prioritizes Science, Water
Washington, DC: The Obama administration today announced new planning standards to guide how America’s 192 million acres of national forests and grassland will be used and protected in the future. The new standards follow more than 75 public meetings to gather input on how the Forest Service should update forest management for the 21st century.
In response Frances Hunt, director of the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats campaign issued the following statement.
"We're pleased to see the Obama administration taking action to protect our forests and grasslands. The new standards respond to public comments, rightly prioritizing science in deciding how to best protect our waters, wildlife and wild places for a rapidly changing future. They take a more holistic approach to managing these important lands and for the first time require agency plans and decisions to address the impacts of climate change on our nation's natural systems.
The standards represent a renewed commitment to safeguarding America's clean water by an agency that has traditionally prioritized commercial logging. Restoring and protecting the watersheds and waterways that supply about one-fifth of our nation's water is good for our families, our health and our economy. Fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor recreational activities generate over $700 billion for the economy each year and support thousands of jobs.
America's national forests offer one-of-a-kind opportunities for families from coast to coast to recreate, retreat and recharge. The new standards announced today can help ensure that our forests will survive for future generations to explore and enjoy. We will continue to work with the Forest Service to promote effective enforcement of strong habitat protections and implementation of plans that are in the best long term interest of our great outdoors."