Contact: Angela Coleman, 404-347-7226, 678-641-2450
Southern Forest Resource Assessment
Press Statement- Elizabeth Estill
November 23, 2001
Release of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment lays a foundation of valuable information we can use to secure a healthy future for all Southern Forests. I'm grateful to the partners and citizens for their commitment to complete this unprecedented work. While some may debate what the assessment's findings mean or how citizens and agencies should respond, none can dispute the validity of science in this report. This has been a most commendable and professional undertaking.
This report offers opportunity and great hope! Using this assessment, we can join together to take on challenges facing the South. A firm partnership between federal and state agencies, industry and private citizens will ensure a wide variety of benefits from the South's Forests long into the future.
Never has there been a more critical time to engage in this partnership. Forests provide for the livelihoods and lifestyles we enjoy in the Southern United States. Over the last few years, the South's forests have also provided the bulk of this country's wood supply, nearly 60 percent. At the same time, forests provide clean water, recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat and a wealth of biodiversity. The continuation of that legacy is not guaranteed, especially in the face of unprecedented population growth and urban expansion. This assessment can help people identify areas of concern, choices and consequences.
I eagerly anticipate the public's review and subsequent finalization of this document. This assessment will go along way toward securing the many benefits of this Region's natural resources.
USDA Forest Service, Southern Region