FORESTRY DEANS WEIGH IN ON FOREST ROADS ISSUE
On October 27, 2011 25 Deans of Forestry schools and programs from around the country sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing their concern about the impact the 9th Circuit Court decision on forest roads will have on our forests and the forest products industry. It included a summary of citations supporting their position that current forest management and regulation has brought a “balance” between environmental quality and a healthy forest products industry “..through decades of effort to craft forest management regimes that are carefully tailored to the variety of environmental conditions across the United States.”
The citations included the following:
1) All evidence indicates that treating forest roads as point sources of pollution will in fact mean a significant increase in regulatory costs in managing forests for both production and conservation purposes;
2) Best Management Practices and/or state laws have effectively dealt with this issue and in Florida we know that that is over 95% compliance with Florida’s forestry BMPs and that they are effective in protecting water quality; and
3) That is why after 35 years, forestry contributes to impairment in just 0.5% of the nation’s stream miles.
The Forest Landowners Association works closely with the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs to add support from a scientific and academic perspective on issues of importance to private forest landowners. A copy of the letter can be found here.