WASHINGTON — Forest products provide a host of benefits to the American people. Beyond the material for construction and other uses, forest products create jobs, support economies and, especially in rural communities, support an entire way of life.
Timber harvest is a tool in the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Strategically delivering forest products through harvest can be used to address the growing issues of wildfire, invasive species, insects and disease. For this, many more reason, timber harvest is a powerful tool in ensuring the resiliency and sustainability of our forested landscapes.
The Forest Service wants to be the best at delivering forest products so that we can better meet the goals of supporting jobs, growing the economy and increasing the health of our forests at a faster pace and scale. Part of that journey to be the best means that we have to look at ourselves as an agency and examine how our policies and culture might be better utilized to reach this goal.
For this reason, the Forest Service has begun the Forest Products Modernization effort. This effort is designed to better align ourselves with current and future forest restoration needs.
The Forest Products Modernization team, made up of employees from across the Forest Service, has hosted multiple employee engagement sessions over the last few months. We have received helpful input and are in the process of establishing solution teams in each region with team members from the district, forest and regional levels.
For this effort to work, we will also have to work collaboratively with communities, scientists, environmental groups and other government agencies — and you.
If you are interested in taking part in an engagement session, or becoming part of a solution team, or if you have ideas to share, visit the FPM SharePoint site or send an email to our Outlook inbox. Webinars have been tentatively scheduled for December 5 and December 13 to provide more information about this effort and how you can get involved. The content will be the same for each webinar and they will be recorded for future viewing. We look forward to hearing ideas from across the agency.