Write to Congress
We are asking our senators for more funding to update the Forest Management Plan and support responsible recreation.
I live in _____town,____county, state.
Living here, I know that Mt. Hood National Forest is a unique place and deserves your attention. I request that In the next appropriations cycle, you prioritize funding for National Forest Planning as Mt. Hood's management plan is long overdue and the agency is ill prepared to manage the impact of climate change. Additionally, please increase funding for the Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness line item in the Forest Service Budget. Recreation use on National Forest lands is on the rise throughout the country. Using the local example of Mt. Hood National Forest, visitor use has increased exponentially over the last two decades and the trend is projected to continue. In 2012, the forest received just over 6 million recreation visits when all activities were counted.
Despite this increase in recreation use, the funding to maintain popular recreation trails, rivers, campsites, road access, etc. has not been keeping pace with the demand and facilities are deteriorating. As long as it is undertaken in an environmentally conscious manner, further development of more recreation-friendly management will serve to increase the quality & quantity of recreation opportunities, increasing the economic benefit of National Forests. Outdoor recreation in Oregon is a major contributor to the local economy, creating 141,000 direct jobs and $12.8 billion dollars in consumer spending. Much of this recreation relies on National Forests.
The 30-year old Mt. Hood Forest Plan gives no direction on carbon sequestration or monitoring carbon lost through industrial logging. It also fails to recognize the out sized value of recreation to local economies as compared to timber. Forest planning is a significant undertaking for an agency already facing shrinking budgets. Without increased funding, the Forest Service will not be capable of ecologically sound stewardship of the public lands, supporting the new economic reality for local communities, or maximizing carbon sequestration and storage in our nations largest carbon sinks.