Contact: Angela Coleman, 404-347-7226, 678-641-2450
Southern Forest Resource Assessment
Press Statement- Peter J. Roussopoulos
November 23, 2001
The Southern Forest Resource Assessment is a milestone in synthesizing what we know about the resources of the South and about the people who value those resources and depend on them for livelihoods and quality of life. Nowhere within the U.S. borders or beyond has there been an assessment that covers such a broad physical area and such a complexity of issues and opportunities with such objectivity. To my mind, the Assessment sets a new standard for defining the term, "Best available science."
We are also breaking new ground in the way we are presenting the Assessment findings. We have set up the chapters in hypertext and incorporated threaded messaging, providing easy access, both to the material and to the comments and concerns of others. This will encourage thoughtful public review of the Assessment's 23 chapters and accompanying Summary Report.
The Forest Service joins the other partner agencies in congratulating the 25 scientists and analysts who spent the last two years of their lives working on the Assessment and the 100 experts who provided blind peer reviews of the various versions of the documents.
Although this milestone represents the completion of several years' work for the partner agencies, it is more of a beginning than an ending. We now have reliable information that decisionmakers, managers, and citizens can use in their deliberations about a wide range of subjects, everything from policies for public forest management to identification of priorities for the research questions we will address.
Peter J. Roussopoulos,
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station