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Four Threats - Background

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Healthy Forests Make for a Healthy Nation.

Keeping America’s forests and grasslands healthy requires restoring and rehabilitating damaged areas to: (1) prevent severe wildfires, (2) stop the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species, (3) reduce the conversion of forest and grasslands that leads to fragmentation of rural landscapes through subdivision, and (4) manage impacts of motorized recreation vehicles by restricting use to designated roads and trails.

[graphic] An image of Chief Bosworth poses beside the Four Threats display exhibited at the Outdoor Writers Associations of America conference held in Spokane, WA.

Chief Bosworth poses beside the Four Threats
display exhibited at the Outdoor Writers
Associations of America conference held
in Spokane, WA.

Over the next few years, the Forest Service will restore and rehabilitate damaged lands and will actively manage critical resources.

The Forest Service Strategic Plan provides a new framework for accomplishing the Agency’s mission and incorporates actions to resolve four major threats to America’s forests and grasslands. Forest Service leadership is committed to removing the “Four Threats” from the national landscape. This is a necessary action in order to achieve long-term outcomes: clean air, clean water, conserving wildlife, and protecting communities from wildfire.

Forest Service actions to achieve these outcomes are important contributions to enhancing the quality of life for Americans:

Actions needed to address the Four Threats include:

Fire and fuels—Restore healthy, disturbance-resilient ecosystems on lands at risk from catastrophic fire, improving the condition and function of critically important watersheds, and sustaining critical wildlife habitat nationwide.

Invasive species—Protect forest and rangeland ecosystems by preventing the release of non-native species and by controlling the spread, or eradicating, invasive species.

Loss of open space—Conserve the nation’s forests and rangelands most at risk due to subdivision and land conversion by working with partners, communities and landowners to balance development with sustaining ecosystem services and viable working landscapes.

Unmanaged recreation—Work with partners to develop travel management plans that regulate the use of OHVs on designated roads, trails, and parks in an appropriate manner.

US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

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