Published since 1946
Secretary Vilsack Directs Forest Service on Forest Management Actions
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a Secretary’s memorandum to the U.S. Forest Service in late June directing the agency to take “bold action” to restore forests to make them more resilient to a changing climate. The memorandum directs the agency to identify the forests at greatest risk and evaluate how those areas are currently managed as well as resolving potential data gaps. This analysis will help to design a decision support tool to enhance carbon stewardship, wildlife habitat, watersheds, outdoor recreation, and more. The memorandum also directs the Forest Service to take more immediate actions, including developing plans for increasing the safe use of prescribed fire, fostering innovative markets for sustainable forest products, conducting an inventory of old-growth and mature forests, accelerating reforestation, and boosting nursery capacity to grow more tree seedlings for post-fire recovery and other planting efforts.
“Globally, forests represent some of the most biodiverse parts of our planet, yet drought and intensifying and catastrophic wildfires are threatening our forests to such a degree that many are not able to regenerate on their own,” Secretary Vilsack said in a statement. “This is why today I am directing Forest Service Chief Randy Moore and Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Dr. Homer Wilkes, to take a series of immediate and near-term actions to build carbon stewardship and climate resilience in our national forests.”