Alarm bells went off after reading Mark Quinn’s Viewpoint (TNT, 4-28) on the forest management rules proposed by the U.S. Forest Service.
I am shocked that in the midst of the Obama administration’s advocacy for the use of best available science – a great reprieve from the attempts to shove science in the closet by the previous administration – these rules only call for forest managers to “take into account” best available science.
While I appreciate that this is the first time they’ve attempted to update the existing regulations in my lifetime, I am bewildered as to the scaling back of management principles for all native species and lack of buffering minimums for water bodies that lead through our communities providing recreation, drinking water and the quality of life that Washingtonians expect. Climate change alone is a reason to make an update.
I want stronger management for our national forests for the next 30 years, not less. I want the spaces our predecessors had the forethought to preserve to provide the same recreational opportunities and quality of life for not only my lifetime, but for future generations.
I’m not suggesting scaling back the timber industry that brought my family to this region nearly 100 years ago. I’m asking for the use of sound scientific principles in managing our public lands.