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Forests replenish our well-being

Even though there are scientific, logical reasons for preserving our forests, natural places also provide a setting for mental health through giving sanctuary for spiritual connection and rejuvenation, and physical health through recreational opportunities for families and groups, including observing and enjoying birds and animals of the forests.

“That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

  ~Egyptian tomb inscription, circa 1400 BC

A long list of Americans who honored this wonderful continent "America" on planet Earth. They saw us as caregivers to preserve this legacy--not only for the scientific reasons for needing trees in our environment--but they beheld the beauty of nature and felt a difference in their attitude, spirit and well-being.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."  ~John Muir, 1913

A journal of living and loving in the East Texas Woods

Nature and trees nurture body, mind and soul. I was fortunate to have been able to enjoy a year in a National Forest setting. Memories of those days of peace and connection to delightful, non-judging, ever-changing nature sustain me in my daily challenges. That peace and joy is a part of my being.

You can find out more about my retreat and be inspired to take a retreat yourself!! It will make a difference in your life.

cover image showing trees, old barn and clouds

Purchase from Amazon.com ebooks for computer, Ipad, Ipod, Kindle; also vailable from Kindle library.
Welcome to the Woods

FLPMA 1976

 

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976

http://www.blm.gov/flpma/FLPMA.pdf

DECLARATION OF POLICY

Sec. 102. [43 U.S.C. 1701] (a) The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that–

(1) the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided for in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest;

(2) the national interest will be best realized if the public lands and their resources are periodically and systematically inventoried and their present and future use is projected through a land use planning process coordinated with other Federal and State planning efforts;

(3) public lands not previously designated for any specific use and all existing classifications of public lands that were effected by executive action or statute before the date of enactment of this Act be reviewed in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

(4) the Congress exercise its constitutional authority to withdraw or otherwise designate or dedicate Federal lands for specified purposes and that Congress delineate the extent to which the Executive may withdraw lands without legislative action;

(5) in administering public land statutes and exercising discretionary authority granted by them, the Secretary be required to establish comprehensive rules and regulations after considering the views of the general public; and to structure adjudication procedures to assure adequate third party participation, objective administrative review of initial decisions, and expeditious decision making;

(6) judicial review of public land adjudication decisions be provided by law;

(7) goals and objectives be established by law as guidelines for public land use planning, and that management be on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield unless otherwise specified by law;

(8) the public lands be managed in a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; that, where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will pro-vide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use;

(9) the United States receive fair market value of the use of the public lands and their resources unless otherwise provided for by statute;

(10) uniform procedures for any disposal of public land, acquisition of non-Federal land for public purposes, and the exchange of such lands be established by statute, requiring each disposal, acquisition, and exchange to be consistent with the prescribed mission of the department or agency involved, and reserving to the Congress review of disposals in excess of a specified acreage;

(11) regulations and plans for the protection of public land areas of critical environmental concern be promptly developed;

(12) the public lands be managed in a manner which recognizes the Nation’s need for domestic sources of minerals, food, timber, and fiber from the public lands including implementation of the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1876, 30 U.S.C. 21a) as it pertains to the public lands; and

(13) the Federal Government should, on a basis equitable to both the Federal and local taxpayer, provide for payments to compensate States and local governments for burdens created as a result of the immunity of Federal lands from State and local taxation.

(b) The policies of this Act shall become effective only as specific statutory authority for their implementation is enacted by this Act or by subsequent legislation and shall then be construed as supplemental to and not in derogation of the purposes for which public lands are administered under other provisions of law.

National Forests are threatened!

By non-sustainable hard-rock mining

Trees of our forests are the Earth’s sentinels protecting and insuring the continuation of life. Trees provide clean water, clean air, clean soil, shade and habitat. We must protect them; they must flourish for life on the Earth to continue.

Forests sustain life from two streams. First, there are scientific reasons. Trees produce oxygen necessary for human and animal life. Trees hold the soil, prevent erosion and filter air and rainwater. The National Forest (FS) mission statement “caring for the land and serving the people” and FS management Acts emphasize securing and protecting of watershed. Second and equally important--trees provide opportunities for humans to enjoy healthy exercise, recreation and contemplation in shady, quiet, natural places to rejuvenate their body, mind and spirit.

Urgency of Mining Law Reform

Oak Flat Land Exchange

Elias Butler video on protecting Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest

Creation of National Forest Reserves

The National Forest System was created to protect our forests from destruction by grazing, mining and unregulated cutting, which were already deemed a problem in the late 1800’s. In 1882, the U.S. President, Chester A. Arthur, stated: "The conditions of the forests and the wasteful manner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious apprehension."

The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized the Presidents of the United States to set aside forest reserves from the lands in the Public Domain. The Act was passed under Benjamin Harrison’s administration (1889-1893). He responded by putting 13 million acres of land into National Forests. The succeeding presidents, Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) put in 25 million acres and William McKinley (1897-1901) put in 7 million acres. However, the champion of the forest preservation was Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Under Roosevelt's pen the forest reserves went from approximately 43,000,000 acres to about 194,000,000 acres, an increase of over 400%.

Over 100 years ago, four U.S. Presidents knew that trees of the forest sustained health and well-being for humans and wildlife. However, we of the "scientific age" aren't able to figure it out.