From today’s Missoulian . . .
The U.S. Forest Service wants to speed up work on national forests, for both timber production and forest health.
“Collaboration is most effective in getting forests managed in a proper way,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a conference call on Thursday. “We want to move beyond the conflicts in the past that slowed progress down. We’re going to look to encourage environmentalists, folks in the forest industry, people who live in forest communities and other stakeholders to work for healthy forests.”
Vilsack pledged the Forest Service would boost its lumber production from 2.4 billion board feet in 2011 to 3 billion board feet by 2014. That would come through a 20 percent increase in forest acres treated over the next three years.
Those treatments also include fuels reduction, reforestation, stream restoration, road decommissioning, culvert work and prescribed fire, as well as timber harvesting.