FOREST SERVICE ADDRESSES
GROWING RECREATION DEMAND
DULUTH, MN Sept. 27, 2000 - The new Recreation
Agenda was completed after two national and 14 local
recreation summit meetings were held across the
country. The Forest Service asked environmental
groups, recreation organizations, industry
representatives, individual recreation users, local
citizens and elected officials to review draft
versions and recommend modifications.
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck said, "The Forest
Service is the number one supplier of outdoor recreation
in the world. This plan will help us ensure people continue
to enjoy their public lands, and that together we continue
to protect the natural beauty and environment that draws
them to these natural wonders."
"Recreation is one of the most important roles of the
national forests," said Denny Bschor, director of the
Forest Service's Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness
programs. "Inevitable increases in the number of visitors
to national forest lands will continue to strain the ability
of the land and forest recreation personnel to cope.
By calling for close cooperation among all of the various
interests, the new agenda will help us meet the growing
recreation demand in harmony with the land," Bschor said.
The agenda states that the Forest Service will strive to
stay in closer touch with forest users. Within the limits
of the land, the agenda states, the Forest Service will
use the limited financial resources available to set
priorities for recreation maintenance, will use various
opportunities to leverage available funding, will improve
how the Forest Service conducts the business side of
recreation, and will form partnerships for conservation
Bschor emphasized that the agenda does not call for
increasing the number of visitors to National Forest
System Lands. "We welcome everyone," he said,
"but the focus of the agenda is improving the recreation
experience for visitors and minimizing and reversing
any negative impact on the land."
According to Recreation Program Manager Dave Tucci,
the Superior National Forest has a recreation strategy in
place which is responsive to most of the agenda items.
"To be responsive to customer needs," Tucci said, "we
meet each year and incorporate changes and address
trends." The Forest is participating in the national recreation
use survey this year by interviewing forest users as they
leave the Forest. Forest personnel attended the Trends
2000 conference in Lansing Michigan last week and
learned about predicted changes and how to gain
flexibility to adapt to them.
Tucci said, "the new recreation agenda is timely and
will help us prioritize our work for the new fiscal year
to achieve specific desired future conditions which
reflect satisfying visitors needs and protecting the
Forests's natural resources."
The Forest Service Recreation Agenda is available
on the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation.