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Rare Forests Open House Hits Portland Tuesday

April 5, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - The federal government is asking Oregonians to chime in on how national forests should be managed in the coming decades. The USDA Forest Service will be holding an open house on forest planning in Portland on Tuesday.

Mike Anderson, senior resource analyst with The Wilderness Society, says he's glad to see the Forest Service taking a closer look at management strategy. He will be looking for the agency to focus more on restoration, dealing with climate change and other pressing issues.

"Especially I hope they will be trying to do a better job of providing good, clean water for the communities and fish and others downstream."

Some of the lands managed by the Forest Service in the Beaver State hold lots of potential for mitigating climate change, Anderson points out.

"In Oregon, of course, we have the magnificent old-growth forests. We're hoping the Forest Service will do more to protect that great carbon storage resource that's so special in Oregon."

He says the management plan could also have important implications for Oregon's wilderness areas, since the Forest Service will be evaluating which of the public lands under its control should be recommended to Congress for official wilderness designation.

The open house sessions are part of a regional roundtable taking place all day Tuesday at the DoubleTree Hotel at Lloyd Center, Portland.

In addition to the meeting, there will be an opportunity to comment via the Forest Service web site, www.fs.fed.us/. Any drafts of management plans will also go through a public comment period.



Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR