USDA Forest Service
Heidi Valetkevitch, 202-205-1134
ADDRESSES GROWING RECREATION DEMAND
REDDING, CALIF. Sept. 22, 2000
-- At the National Trails Symposium, the United
States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
today detailed its agenda for meeting the publics
growing demand for recreation on national forests
The new Recreation Agenda was completed after two
national and 14 local recreation summit meetings
were held across the country. The Forest Service
asked environmental groups, recreation organizations,
industry representatives, individual recreational
users, local citizens and elected officials to review
draft versions and recommend modifications.
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck said, The
Forest Service is the number one supplier of outdoor
recreation in the world. This plan will help us
ensure people continue to enjoy their public lands,
and that together we continue to protect the natural
beauty and environment that draws them to these
Recreation is one of the most important roles
of the national forests, said Denny Bschor,
director of the Forest Services Recreation,
Heritage and Wilderness programs.
Inevitable increases in the number of visitors
to national forest lands will continue to strain
the ability of the land and forest recreation personnel
to cope. By calling for close cooperation among
all of the various interests, the new agenda will
help us meet the growing recreation demand in harmony
with the land, Bschor said.
The agenda states that the Forest Service will
strive to stay in closer touch with forest users.
Within the limits of the land, the agenda states,
the Forest Service will use the limited financial
resources available to set priorities for recreation
maintenance; will use various opportunities to leverage
available funding; will improve how the Forest Service
conducts the business side of recreation; and will
form partnerships for conservation education.
Bschor emphasized that the agenda does not call
for increasing the number of visitors to National
Forest System Lands. We welcome everyone,
he said, but the focus of the agenda is improving
the recreation experience for visitors and minimizing
and reversing any negative impact on the land.
The Forest Service will evaluate how well the Recreation
Agenda is working on an ongoing basis. We
will learn more as we go along, said Bschor,
and we will apply what we learn to continuously
improve the recreation experience for all of our
The Forest Service Recreation Agenda is available
on the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation.