Magazine article American Forests

Washington Outlook

Magazine article American Forests

Washington Outlook

Article excerpt

Over the last Few months, AMERICAN FORESTS has worked to bring the values and goals of our ecosystem-restoration-and-maintenance policy agenda to leaders in the new Administration and in Congress. We have met with Dave Tenny, acting undersecretary for natural resources and environment in the Agriculture Department, and Forest Service chief Dale Bosworth--both expressed substantial interest in community forestry. We have helped bring the voices of our community-based partners to Capitol Hill and testified on the Administration's fiscal year 2002 budget proposals. The results have been promising; there is significant interest in ecosystem restoration and community forestry among natural- resource leaders in the White House and in Congress.

But environmental politics have become increasingly polarized as President Bush has staked out unpopular positions, such as rejecting the Kyoto protocol on global climate change and focusing on energy production rather than conservation. The President made a goad decision in upholding the national forest roadless area policy adapted by the Clinton administration, but later his support seemed tepid as the policy come under attack in the courts (see americanforests.org). Tension over environmental issues has been palpable in Washington, though the power shift in the Senate may increase bipartisan activity.

For the fourth year in a row, we worked with the National Network of Forest Practitioners, the Communities Committee of the Seventh American Forest Congress, and the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to bring community forest practitioners to Washington in March for legislative training, policy briefings, and Congressional hearings. …

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