2007 accomplishment report for the Eastern and Western forest environmental threat assessment centers
As chance would have it, the Eastern Forest and Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Centers were created the same year (2005) that the Forest Service celebrated its centennial anniversary as an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The historic birth of the Forest Service provides a nice backdrop to view our own more modest beginnings. Both events were motivated by a desire to protect and sustain the health of our Nation's treasured natural resources. Both also occurred during times of increasing concern about environmental threats. When Gifford Pinchot first championed the Forest Service, unfettered exploitation of public lands and the absence of scientific information to support land management decisions were primary issues. The controversies have changed, but not entirely. Today’s headlines ring with concerns over wildland fire, climate change, invasive species, the loss of open space, and a perceived decline in amenities that forests and wildlands provide. Pinchot likely could recognize similarities with his own times. What remains utterly unchanged is the fundamental need for sound science and tools to support management.