Forests For Everyone (44E1) is a movement of California citizens to refocus management of US Forest Service lands on water and recreation to provide for the Greatest Good. We propose a much greater emphasis be placed on management activities that benefit the greatest number of citizens. The US Forest Service budget is mostly devoted to firefighting and logging and provides 3,000 jobs. However, recreation provides 38,000 jobs, and the water supply provided by US Forest Service lands is worth $9.5 billion. We are a coalition of forest lovers representing a wide range of interests including campers, hikers, hunters, fishermen, off-roaders, bird watchers, mushroom gatherers, photographers, climbers, wildflower spotters, and more. We are republicans and democrats, ecologists and economists, city dwellers and country folk.
The National Park Service provides a working model for how US Forest Service lands can be managed successfully for recreation and water supply without logging or grazing, and while still protecting communities from wildfire. We support keeping the open recreation policy of the US Forest Service for camping, hunting, and ORV use, mixed with the ecological management of the National Park Service where logging and grazing are eliminated, but wildland fire use and prescribed fire is used for fuels management near structures and campsites.
Facts About California's National Forests:
The US Forest Service (USFS) manages more than 20 million acres of public forest land in California.
The USFS budget is mostly devoted to firefighting and logging and provides 3,000 jobs in California.
California's USFS lands receive more than 35 million recreation visitors per year.
Recreation in California's USFS lands provides 38,000 jobs.
USFS lands in California provide 47% of the state's water supply
California's USFS water supply is worth $9.5 billion.
Logging, even fuels reduction logging, damages forest soils and increases erosion.
Logging does not stop the big hot fires that burn 95% of the burned area and consume 85% of the USFS firefighting budget, weather alone drives those fires.
Homes, structures and communities are made fire safe by defensible space and fire-proof retrofitting, not logging.
Backwoods firefighting does not protect communities and only endangers the lives of firefighters.
Logging greatly diminishes the recreation and water supply values of forest land.
Forest fire is a natural, necessary, and unavoidable part of California forest ecosystems and does not impact water or soil as badly as logging.
Burned forest that is unlogged provides high recreational value, especially to deer hunters and bird watchers, and forest naturally regenerates after fire.
The Forests For Everyone agenda is to repurpose the existing US Forest Service staff and budget to benefit the greatest number of citizens. Everyone in the US Forest Service keeps their job, but their duties may change from focusing on logging, grazing, and backwoods firefighting to developing and improving recreation opportunities, marking trails, cleaning campgrounds, monitoring water flows and erosion, better law enforcement, more fire-wise communities, and defensible space for everyone. We propose expansion of the National Park Service model of forest management to encompass all California's US Forest Service lands while retaining the open recreation policy of the US Forest Service that allows camping, hunting, and ORV use. As California's population grows, outdoor recreation opportunities are becoming extremely overcrowded in existing National Parks. The National Forests provide a ready-made public area for growth of this economically important sector of California's economy.
National Forests in California By The Numbers National Forest acres: 20,802,641 Number of Wilderness areas: 79 Number of Wilderness acres: 4,857,331 Number of Wild & Scenic Rivers: 29 Inventoried Roadless acres: 4,416,000 Miles of trails: 16,202 Recreation site visits: 35,623,000 Family Campgrounds: 869 Group Campgrounds: 131 Ski areas: 25 Total annual water supply of NFS in California: 35 million acre feet or 47% of the state (Source: USFS)