41 Members of Congress Sign Letter to USFS Chief: Recreation A Key Factor in Planning

41 Members of Congress Tell FS Chief: Recreation is Key Factor in Planning

November 24, 2010 (Washington, DC) - Something big for recreation occurred on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. ARC’s efforts on the Forest Service Planning Rule over the past several months stimulated a letter signed by 41 Members of Congress and sent to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on November 19th. The effort was led by U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), just elected as the Majority Whip for the 112th Congress, which convenes next January. “The Congressional letter stresses the importance of recreation and access in national forest planning – a very helpful message as the rule undergoes its final clearance in the Administration,” according to ARC President Derrick Crandall. “Representative McCarthy’s role as a recreation champion is important and welcomed, and we greatly appreciate his leadership,” he added. A parallel letter from U.S. Senators is being pursued.

To read the letter, click here.

The release date for the draft planning rule is now mid-to-late January 2011. ARC has been told by multiple sources that the draft rule reflects recreation community concerns and counsel. During a recent meeting, Robert Bonnie, Senior Advisor to the USDA Secretary for the Environment and Climate, predicted that the rule “will be received with substantial enthusiasm by the recreation community.” To read more about the message to the Forest Service from Representative McCarthy and Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), who will likely chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Forest Service, click on the links below to their official websites. Both Congressmen explain the reasons for the letter to the Chief and offer some very positive comments about recreation on national forests.

To read the rest of the story and for links, click here.