March 23, 2012
Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384
Club Applauds New Planning Standards to Protect National Forests
Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S.
Forest Service today finalized new planning standards to guide how America’s
192 million acres of national forests and grassland will be used and
protected in the future. Eight national
forests will be early adopters of the standards to provide Americans with clean
water, sustainable jobs and abundant recreation for generations to come.
response Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club issued the
Sierra Club applauds USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Forest Service for taking
action today to protect our forests and grasslands. The new standards represent
a victory for communities and families in the Western region of the country,
half of whom depend on national forests for clean and safe drinking water.
“We’re especially pleased that the department prioritized
science in their decisions on how to best protect our waters, wildlife and wild
places for a rapidly changing future, and for the first time, these
standards will require federal forest plans to address the effects of climate disruption
on our nation's forests and grasslands.
finalized standards also include criteria to restore and protect the watersheds
and waterways that supply about one-fifth of our nation's water – a move that’s
good for our families, our health and our economy. Fishing, hiking, wildlife
viewing and other outdoor recreational activities generate more than $700
billion for the economy each year and support thousands of jobs.
Vilsack and the Forest Service’s actions today will help ensure that our
forests will survive for future generations and give families from coast to
coast the opportunity to explore and enjoy America’s natural beauty."