USDA Forest Service
Joe Walsh, 202-205-1134
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2000 --
USDA Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will challenge
a host of local, state and national agencies to
take the first step toward making critical integrated
investments in water, flood and pollution prevention
improvements in the Los Angeles area.
Demonstrating the Forest Services commitment
and support to water infrastructure improvement,
Dombeck will present a $50,000 grant to TreePeople
to begin the inter-agency planning process. The
grant presentation is scheduled for Monday, 11 a.m.,
Open Charter School, 5544 West 77th Street, Westchester,
Everyone needs water; clean water, and all
the benefits that flow from it, said Dombeck.
One of the challenges of the next century
will be the increasing competition for limited water
supplies, which is common to a lot of municipalities
in this part of the country.
Watershed maintenance and restoration are a top
priority for the Forest Service. Healthy watersheds
are resilient in the face of natural events such
as floods, fire and drought and are more capable
of absorbing the effects of human-induced disturbances.
The benefits of investing in watershed restoration
and maintenance are many. The integrated efforts
put forth in the demonstration projects, such as
those led by TreePeople, help weave a seamless tapestry
that transcends the boundary lines of forests, states
and municipalities. National forests in California
comprise 20 percent of the state's land but produce
about 50 percent of California's runoff. Nationally,
forested lands comprise about one-third of the nation's
land area and supply about two-thirds of the total
U.S., runoff. National Forest lands are the largest
single source of water in the continental United
By focusing on areas of agreement and integrated
approaches to water quality improvement, we can
bring people together to restore the soil, water
and air upon which we and future generations will
depend, concluded Dombeck.
For more information about TreePeople, contact
Leslie Mylius, (818) 623-4864.