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Vilsack Outlines Vision for our Nation’s Forests in Seattle Remarks

With Secretary Vilsack doing so much this month, I want to make sure everyone gets a chance to check out his great remarks last week on the future of our nation’s forests, and share people’s reaction.

On Friday, between our Rural Tour stop in Western Alaska and a brief return to DC, we made the flight down to Seattle, Washington for the Secretary Vilsack to address the future of our forests in Seward Park.

The event was held in the city park, just in front of a magnificent lake, with about 100 people in attendance – Forest Service employees, Seattle residents, even a group of local kids from an Audubon Society youth program.

The crowd at Secretary Vilsack's speech on his vision for our nation's forests

After Congressman Norm Dix kicked off the event with remarks on the vitality of Washington agriculture, Secretary Vilsack made clear that our nation’s forests are in critical need of restoration and renewed conservation efforts.

He outlined the important role of the forests in maintaining a safe water supply and called on all Americans to take a stake in the future of our nation’s forestlands.

The reaction was very positive among environmental groups, and the media reported on widespread agreement with the Secretary’s long-term vision.

Secretary Vilsack speaking in Seattle at Seward Park

It’s worth noting, too, that just this afternoon Vilsack announced another $94 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to go toward restoring national forests.

If you’d like to read the remarks, you can view them here; you can also check out news clips:

L.A. Times: Vilsack’s forest agenda welcomed by conservationists, loggers
“Reporting from Seattle – Restoration and conservation are the goals that will guide management of the U.S. forest system under the Obama administration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday.”

Associated Press: Vilsack calls for renewed emphasis on forests
“U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday outlined a vision for managing the nation’s forests that placed a high priority on restoration to protect water resources and combat climate change.

‘Conserving our forests is not a luxury,’ but a necessity, the former Iowa governor said at Seward Park in Seattle in his first major address on the Forest Service.”

Caleb Weaver
USDA Press Secretary

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