Science Mends Fences
The U.S. Forest Service is taking steps to mend fences with industry and conservation groups while addressing climate change.
Many forestry projects are stalled or stopped completely each year due to court battles and clashes between logging and protection groups. These roadblocks need to stop for the well-being of both the economy and ecosystems.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, a new federal plan will place science over politics through compromise. Natural resources, water and habitats will continue to be protected without killing industry. The key to this strategy is that scientists will be consulted before mining, drilling or logging occurs in order to diminish environmental damage. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack explains that political pressure will be alleviated by focusing on how to make forests more resilient from the get-go, as opposed to waiting until environmental damage is done to take action.
The new Forest service rules include comments from lengthy public roundtable discussions, and will undergo a 90 day comment period. The U.S. is a nation that is constantly distracted by political infighting. I hope (and am confident) that in this case, science will trump all.