The committee of scientists
that was convened by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman in December
1997, unveiled its report March 15, during a media roundtable.
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck and Jim Lyons, the USDA
undersecretary for natural resources and environment, presided.
The committee was tasked to recommend ways the Forest Service can
better manage its forests and grasslands.
The scientists said in their report that sustainability--the
preservation of plants, animals and habitats-- should be the first
priority in managing Forest Service natural resources. They also
recommended more partnerships with outside groups such as industry,
recreation, environmental as well as other government agencies, in
making management decisions.
Many of these recommendations are already Forest Service policy.
However, the Forest Service intends to use the scientists' report as
a framework for new forest planning regulations which are expected
to be proposed this summer.
On March 16, the scientists unveiled its report during a
roundtable discussion with Forest Service constituent groups. Then
on March 17, the scientists presented the report in another
roundtable forum with Forest Service employees. All of the meetings
were held in Washington, D.C.
Along with doing extensive research, the group of 13 scientists
held forums in each region of the country, gathering information
from Forest Service employees, tribal representatives, members of
state and local governments, other federal agencies and the