WASHINGTON, JANUARY 22, 2013 AT 9:00 AM EST - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed eight new members to the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee, which provides advice on private forestry and USDA’s programs that assist landowners in managing their forests to protect, conserve and enhance the values they produce.
“The USDA Forest Resource Coordinating Committee’s new members will help us continue to make the right decisions for our rural communities, generating jobs, sustaining economic growth and conserving our working lands for future generations,” said Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman.
The appointed members are:
- Leda Chahim, Washington, representing conservation organizations
- Anthony Delfin, New Mexico, representing state foresters
- Daniel Forster, Georgia, representing state fish and wildlife agencies
- Allan Murray, Wisconsin, representing tribes
- Tammie Perreault, Washington, representing non-industrial private forest landowners
- Bettina Ring, Virginia, representing conservation organizations
- Steven Sinclair, Vermont, representing state foresters
- Bonnie Stine, Florida, representing USDA-authorized state technical committees
The new committee members join eight previously selected members and the heads of four USDA agencies – the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
USDA has a special interest in assuring that women, minority groups and persons with disabilities are adequately represented on this advisory committee. The Forest Resource Coordinating Committee provides expert counsel on actions and funds allocation that enhance the diversity and public benefits of forests. Important areas of focus include wildfires, natural disasters, insect and disease outbreaks, the economics of forest ownership, air and water quality, and public policy related to private forests and wildlife habitat.
The full committee will meet April 11-12, 2013, at the Forest Service headquarters building in Arlington, Va.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Forest Service lands contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $27 billion per year.