"We're very pleased to strongly support the White Mountain Forest Plan released today by the U.S. Forest Service," said Jane Difley, President/Forester of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. "This is the culmination of 10 years of hard work, and we congratulate the Forest Service on completing this arduous task.
"Managing these public lands is a complex undertaking and by definition an exercise in finding compromise. A great many people -- including the Forest Society -- have worked long and hard to strike the right balance of uses. We believe this plan does that.
"Specifically we believe the public interest in more Wilderness and the public benefit in a robust timber harvest program are achieved in the plan. We think the plan's strong emphasis on better managing public recreational use is well placed, and will preserve the pristine and wild character of many acres of the Forest.
"It is the Forest Society's fervent hope that all interests will rally around the new plan, and the Forest Service will be allowed to proceed without appeal or litigation. We look forward to working with the New Hampshire congressional delegation to bring forward legislation to implement the Wilderness designations, and we're anxious to roll up our sleeves and help the Forest Service put the plan to work."
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (www.forestsociety.org) was founded in 1901 to protect the stateï¿½s most important landscapes and promote the wise use of its renewable natural resources. These principles are reflected in the tenets of the Weeks Act, the seminal 1911 federal legislation that authorized the creation of a system of national forests in the eastern United States, including the White Mountain National Forest. Today, the Forest Society is made up of more than 10,000 member households and owns 145 reservations that encompass over 41,000 acres in 90 communities across the state. In addition, the Society holds more than 600 conservation easements totaling over 90,000 acres, and conducts ongoing programs in research, advocacy, land protection, education, land management and sustainable forestry.