Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moving Forest Service to Interior Dept?

Just spotted this brief clip in the AGI Government Affairs report that "the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a February 24 hearing to examine transferring the Forest Service from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior. Robin Nazzaro, GAO Director for Natural Resources & Environment, testified on GAO findings that potential long-term cost savings and efficiencies could be achieved but said that many other issues would need to be addressed."

For all of us in the Western public lands states, this would be a big deal. With BLM already in Interior, this could mean a more integrated, unified, and uniform management from the two biggest landowners in most Western states. Now, is that a good thing or not? From a cost savings perspective, probably so. But would a super-management agency better serve the various, and divergent public land user groups? I don't have a ready answer but it would seem to raise all kinds of questions for conservationists, recreationists, loggers, and miners.

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