Federal Agencies Hold Public Meetings Concerning Southern Forest Resource Assessment
August 3rd, 1999, Atlanta GA -- Earlier this year, federal and state agencies across the Southeast launched a joint study aimed at measuring whether the South's forests can continue to meet growing resource demands for forest products and amenities for the long term. As a tool to gain public input on this study, the Forest Service and other participating agencies will be holding a series of public meetings across the Southeast in the month of August in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. (Note: Click here for locations, dates, and times.)
The project, which officially got underway in March and is expected to conclude in 2001, is now being referred to as the Southern Forest Resource Assessment. With the USDA Forest Service taking the lead in this endeavor, the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Valley Authority, and southern state forestry agencies have joined forces in this two-year initiative.
"This assessment can be a relevant contribution to the long-term quality of southern forests," stated John Greis, Forest Service Team Leader for this study.
continued next column According to Greis, the 200+ million acres of Southern United States forests, which produce a wide variety of products and benefits for people while hosting a rich mixture of plants, wildlife, and aquatic species, are among the most productive and diverse in the world. However, pressures being placed on them are increasing as population in the region expands and the world's demand for forest products continues to grow. "In order for public and private decision makers to respond appropriately in the new millennium when faced with the challenge of ensuring long-term forest resource vitality," state Greis, "they must be equipped with the best information available regarding the forest ecosystem's status, diversity, and sustainability.
Input from the public is desired from the beginning in order to help ensure the long-term quality of southern forest. At the meetings, persons attending will have the opportunity to share their views in workshop fashion. Public input will be used to help the team refine the study. Persons who can not attend the meetings are encouraged to submit their input or comments on this website or directly to John Greis at firstname.lastname@example.org or co-team leader, David Wear at email@example.com.
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