I agree with you about the love for our public lands revealed in the debate about Sen. Tester's bill. It's wonderful that folks care so much.
I understand and share your concerns about the minimum acreage for "treatment". However as commercial logging is only one of *many* options for that treatment and the mandate is for acreage treated not board feet yielded, the forest service has a great deal of flexibility in how they implement the mandate. As gfurshong in the comment previous to mine points out, "treatment" is prioritized to areas with a minimum (not a maximum) road density, so already disturbed lands are those that will be further disturbed.
Pilot programs and adaptive management are incredibly important--allowing the leeway to improve things and adjust to changing circumstances over time.
It's wonderful that Vilsack and Tester are coming to an agreement about how to let the FJRA break new ground in forest management.
Like you, I think it's inspiring that the USDA and the Forest Service are working with local citizens to manage our public lands. The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act is a great way to protect the natural beauty of our state and our ability to get out into it and enjoy it.
The three groups behind Senator Tester's bill have all done an admirable job in creating collaborations that meet many local needs. Having locals help shape the management of their *public* lands seems a bold step forward. Senator Tester's recent open houses in Dillon and Bozeman have given hundreds of Montanans an opportunity to see the ways in which the bill will benefit them and their families and to air their concerns.
I'm relatively new here in Montana, but I'm excited to be represented by a Senator who's taking such a bold approach with regard to wilderness and with regard to public land management.
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