|As the Country prepares for the State of the Union address this evening, FLA reflects back on the greatest SOTUA that focused on the important role of forests
FLA works to give a greater rise to the voice of private forest landowners, ensuring their voices are heard from the halls of Congress and echo down Pennsylvania avenue to the White House and to all of the federal land management agencies in between.
We thought it would be fitting to take this time to reflect back in history by sharing with you excerpts from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1901 State of the Union Address. We believe TR got it right. In 1901, TR sent a 20,000-word Message, devoting 10 percent of it to the protection of forests, streams and the establishment of wildlife preserves. Citing haphazard and unrestrained development, he said “the forest and water problems are perhaps the most vital internal questions of the United States.”
Excerpts from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1901 SOTUA
Public opinion throughout the United States has moved steadily toward a just appreciation of the value of forests, whether planted or of natural growth. The great part played by them in the creation and maintenance of the national wealth is now more fully realized than ever before.
Wise forest protection does not mean the withdrawal of forest resources, whether of wood, water, or grass, from contributing their full share to the welfare of the people, but, on the contrary, gives the assurance of larger and more certain supplies. The fundamental idea of forestry is the perpetuation of forests by use. Forest protection is not an end of itself; it is a means to increase and sustain the resources of our country and the industries, which depend upon them. The preservation of our forests is an imperative business necessity.
The practical usefulness of the national forest reserves to the mining, grazing, irrigation, and other interests of the regions in which the reserves lie has led to a widespread demand by the people of the West for their protection and extension. The forest reserves will inevitably be of still greater use in the future than in the past. Additions should be made to them whenever practicable, and their usefulness should be increased by a thoroughly business-like management.
The forest and water problems are perhaps the most vital internal questions of the United States. The water supply itself depends upon the forest. The forests are natural reservoirs. By restraining the streams in flood and replenishing them in drought they make possible the use of waters otherwise wasted. They prevent the soil from washing, and so protect the storage reservoirs from filling up with silt. Forest conservation is therefore an essential condition of water conservation.
FLA’s key message to policy makers in 2013 is the following:
FLA sustains forests by sustaining those that own them. Since 1941, when FLA was founded, our mission and guiding purpose has and always will remain the same – to protect and advocate for all private forest landowners across the country-regardless of size, corporate structure, location, certification status, or tax classification. Our efforts to protect, promote, and advocate for private landowners expand beyond lobbying for property rights to telling their story to policy makers in terms of economic impact, jobs created, family legacy and great stewards of the resource.
We look forward to serving all private forest landowners across this country in 2013 and would like to thank you for your support of this great association.