USDA Forest Service
Heidi Valetkevitch, 202-205-1134
WORKS TO STRENGTHEN RURAL COMMUNITIES
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2000 -- The
USDA Forest Service yesterday announced its plan
to assist rural communities in and around Forest
Service lands in managing natural resources, while
strengthening their economic health and vitality.
The plan, Working Together for Rural America:
2000 and Beyond, calls for community and Forest
Service policy-makers to effectively integrate rural
economic, social and ecological concerns. The plan
was announced during the national Rural Community
Assistance conference in Burlington, Vt.
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck said, Thousands
of rural communities all across the country, including
those in and around the 155 national forests and
21 grasslands will benefit from effective community-based
partnerships. This builds on the Forest Services
long-standing commitment to strengthen rural America
through sustainable approaches and collaboration,
The plan is the outcome of 11 multi-state workshops,
conducted all over the United States, involving
businesses, interest groups, economic development
councils, citizens groups, elected officials,
individuals and state and federal agencies. Dombeck
said, The plan was developed to reconcile
increasing public demand for natural resources in
a manner that sustains land health and water quality.
Adela Backiel, USDA director of sustainable development,
said, The Strategy helps USDA fulfill its
commitments to a sustainable America.
The plan is available on the Cooperative Forestry
Copies may be obtained by contacting your local
Forest Service office, or the headquarters office
in Washington, DC, at 202/401-7784. Communities
may apply for assistance by contacting their local
Forest Service office.