Sportsmen Unite in Support of Scientific Forest Management
‘The Buck Stops Here,’ say hunters and anglers, as the federal government finalizes planning rule that will affect 193 million acres.
WASHINGTON –-(Ammoland.com)- As the U.S. Forest Service completes work on new planning regulations for the nation’s forests and grasslands, an assemblage of prominent sportsman-conservation groups is uniting in support of policy that conserves wildlife and fish populations, habitat, hunting and angling, and high-quality outdoor experiences, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced today.
“The Buck Stops Here,” a statement signed by 64 hunting and angling groups from across the country, strongly asserts sportsmen’s priorities for managing America’s 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands.
“In charting the future of our national forests and grasslands, the buck stops here,” said Joel Webster, director of the TRCP Center for Western Lands.
“These areas provide some of the nation’s finest fish and wildlife habitat and publicly accessible hunting and fishing to millions of sportsmen. From wild sheep, deer, elk, turkey and grouse hunting to wild trout and salmon fishing, these lands will only become more important for our outdoor traditions as America’s population continues to grow.”
“With more than 400,000 miles of streams and 3 million acres of lakes, the Forest Service has a central role in the future of our nation’s water supplies and fisheries habitats,” said Keith Curley, director of government affairs with Trout Unlimited, a “Buck Stops Here” signatory. “The planning rule must ensure that management decisions are made using the best available science – and critical resources such as riparian habitats and water quality are protected or restored so that healthy populations of fish and wildlife may be sustained on Forest Service lands.”
“The Wildlife Society encourages the Forest Service to strengthen the role of science in the final rule,” said Michael Hutchins, executive director and CEO of The Wildlife Society, which signed the sportsmen’s letter, “and to ensure that the ecosystem-based conservation and management approach leads to healthy fish and wildlife populations by placing greater emphasis on focal species-level monitoring.”
“In order to sustain quality hunting and angling opportunities, forest plans must show how they will support not only rare plants and animals but also important species such as deer, elk, grouse and trout that are enjoyed and used by the public,” stated Webster. “Non-routine projects must be carefully monitored to safeguard fish and wildlife – both during and after these activities.”
Promulgated under the National Forest Management Act, the new regulations will govern management of fish and wildlife populations, watersheds, road building, timber harvest and habitat restoration on the nation’s national forest lands. A series of forums enabled the public to ask questions and learn about the new regulations. Comments must be submitted by May 16.
Read “The Buck Stops Here” and review the list of sportsmen signatories.
Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the tradition of hunting and fishing. Visit: www.trcp.org