Reclaiming the Forest Service

November 5, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

“It’s been a dismal eight years for the U.S. Forest Service. When the Bush administration took office, it immediately suspended a popular measure to protect 58 million acres of backcountry public forests from new roads. Instead, the agency became consumed by firefighting. Since 2001, stopping fire has grown from about 15 percent of the agency’s budget to nearly 50 percent today.” In the Denver Post, Chris Wood makes a compelling argument that the U.S. Forest Service has gone way off track but still holds great promise as a vehicle for “reconnecting people, children and communities to the landscapes that provide their food, energy resources.”
If you’re feeling the least bit inspired by last night’s presidential election to begin contributing to government again, start by lending your insights as a fly fisher to your community and especially to youth. A good start can be found in one of the great books available for teaching kids about nature.