America’s 193 million acres of national forests provide outstanding fish and wildlife habitat and afford sportsmen high-quality hunting and fishing opportunities. Every year, millions of hunters and anglers depend on these federal public lands for access to hunting and fishing in 42 states.
Several challenges confront our national forest lands and sportsmen:
To increase public access to public lands, the TRCP is working alongside our sportsmen partners to persuade members of Congress to advance legislation called “Making Public Lands Public” and the “Hunt Act.” This legislation would generate funding to open public access to federal public lands through cooperative agreements with private landowners.
To benefit fish and wildlife habitat and ensure continued public access, the TRCP is engaging in national forest land use planning. The U.S. Forest Service completed a new National Planning Rule in April 2012 that will be used to determine management plans for national forests and grasslands covering 193 million acres. The agency is currently working to implement the new planning rule.
An initial step in the implementation of the rule will require the creation of a new planning manual. The Forest Service also will develop eight “early adopter” forest plans under the new planning rule in Idaho, New Mexico, California, Alaska and Puerto Rico. The new manual and these initial forest plans will set the stage for all subsequent forest plans across the nation, affecting access, habitat conservation, restoration, timber management and other issues that are critically important for fish and wildlife habitat and sportsmen.
Together with our partners, the TRCP will ensure that new forest plans benefit our shared fish and wildlife resources and American hunters and anglers.
The TRCP is working to conserve and restore our best national forest hunting and fishing areas, but we need your help. American sportsmen have an opportunity to improve the management of our national forest public lands by getting involved. Sign up as a TRCP Western Sportsman Advocate, and we will keep you informed about opportunities to speak out on behalf of quality habitat and our hunting and fishing traditions.
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