Magazine article American Forests

National Lands Need a National Viewpoint

Magazine article American Forests

National Lands Need a National Viewpoint

Article excerpt

The Wilderness Society has long supported-and been involved with-community-based efforts addressing land-management issues. In Kremmling, Colorado; Indian Lake, New York; Dillon, Montana; and other places across the country, The Wilderness Society has been or is working closely with small towns to identify new opportunities that lead not only to economic growth but to sound stewardship of the land. These partnerships prove that community-based efforts have their place. However, they also demonstrate that they must be appropriate to the problems they seek to solve.

First, and perhaps most important, community-based efforts addressing management issues on national public lands must include national representation. Community-based proposals should undergo environmental and economic review, as is required of all management plans for federal public lands. Furthermore, proposed projects should be consistent with environmental laws as well as with the best available science. It is also important to start with modest proposals. Almost by definition, these are new approaches-usually to quite complex problemsand as such should be tested first on a small scale. The Wilderness Society believes implementation should take place through existing federal administrative channels and not through acts of Congress. …

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