27 Feb 2010, 1:26pm
Latest Forest News
by admin

Agriculture to merge Forest Service programs

By INES BEATRIX, Federal Times, February 26, 2010 [here]

The Agriculture Department’s Forest Service plans to merge three programs next year to better protect forests against the effects of climate change.

Tim Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service, said the merger will enable Forest Service managers to consider all aspects of forest maintenance and care — timber harvesting, tree health, watershed health, wildlife and fisheries, and vegetation — within a single program.

Creating “a single budget line item … will encourage folks to look at the [total] landscape” of forest management, Tidwell said in an interview.

The program merger is included in the president’s $5.4 billion Forest Service budget proposed for 2011, which would represent a $61 million increase over this year’s budget.

Cecilia Clavet, a policy analyst at the Forest Service, said the move will enable agency managers to “start thinking holistically about restoration of the forest and leaning away from strict timber management.”

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he is pleased with the budget because it includes “significant improvements” in funding to fight wildfires.”

4 Mar 2010, 6:57am
by ws

Which three programs are being merged?

How will this protect forests from climate change? How will it encourage anyone to change their approach to managing forests? Where does the USFS still practice strict timber management?

I’m not a cynic- this is just a really bad post.

4 Mar 2010, 8:21am
by Mike

WS - this is a news clipping, I didn’t write it.

That being said, I agree with you that the new budget merger raises more questions than answers. Tidwell had some real purpose in mind, but just what that is remains mysterious because the stated rationale doesn’t make sense.



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