• reinforcement of the information base on which informed decisions can be made about the use, management, and protection of nonfederal forests, and improvement of the transfer of information to owners, managers, and citizens with interests in nonfederal forests;
  • encouragement of economic conditions and innovative programs that will result in high levels of investment in sustaining nonfederal forests (the levels should be consistent with the benefits provided by nonfederal forests); and
  • enhancement of the ability of nonfederal forests to provide important economic, social, and environmental contributions in a global context to the world community.

Committee Recommendations

Long-Term Forest Health and Integrity

Recommendation 1.

Ensure the long-term integrity of forest ecosystems that comprise the nation's nonfederal forests, actively addressing conditions that diminish their ability to contribute to the well-being of the nation's citizens (Chapter 5).

Fundamental sustainability of the ecosystems that are a part of nonfederal forests is critical to the ecosystems' provision of the range of goods and services that Americans expect both now and in the future. The ecosystem stress that can be caused by forest fragmentation, land conversion, air pollutants, climatic change, insects and diseases, and the like must be addressed if the long-term viability of nonfederal forests is to be sustained. Failure to anticipate and to take action to deal with conditions such as these will certainly impede the ability of nonfederal forests to make continuous and important contributions to the nation. This consideration points to the following specific recommendations:

  • The federal government should strengthen programs that monitor nonfederal forest health, with special focus on early detection of conditions that could lead to catastrophic consequences.
  • Federal assistance to states should be strengthened for wildfire suppression and fuel management technologies, while recognizing fire as critical to functioning, healthy ecological processes.

Policies, Planning, and Organizing

Recommendation 2.

Improve the ability of the federal government to focus on the national interest in nonfederal forests, especially the ability to identify national interests in nonfederal forests and to deliver programs and support that will enable accomplishment of these national interests (Chapter 6).

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