As the public wrestles with ramifications from the recently released Shoshone National Forest’s draft travel management plan, one overriding principle needs to be considered by both forest service personnel and those who use the forest resources.

The national forests’ renewable resources of timber, range, water, recreation and wildlife are to be developed and managed for multiple use and sustained yield of those resources – outside wilderness areas.

That means logging, livestock grazing, irrigation resources, hunting and other recreation uses as well as the preservation of wildlife should by law all be available to the public as long as they are managed in a manner to keep those renewable resources sustainable.

It must be remembered that resources in national parks are administered and managed differently than the renewable resources on our national forest lands.

Logging and hunting are not permitted on national park lands, but the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (the federal law that directs the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the multiple use of forest resources) includes those activities in the five major uses of renewable resources on forest lands. That results in the delicate balancing act forest service managers must deal with.

At what level is logging permitted keeping environmentalists’ concerns in mind?

How do forest personnel manage wildlife and livestock grazing?

How does the forest provide access to those resources and the same time protect the natural beauty of the lands?

National forests are not national parks, and they are to be administered differently.

The new Shoshone National Forest draft travel management plan calls for closing popular snowmobiling areas and transitioning many roads to trails only.

We urge all involved to remember the federal law dictates renewable resources on forest lands are to be managed for multiple uses.

John Malmberg

(1) comment


Fifty years of engaging the Forest Service and other public land agencies - mostly on wildlife, conservation, for profit recreation and extractive industry profiting privately from public resources - has taught me a few fundamental things.

One of those precepts is that sometimes the highest and best use of public land is simply to leave it alone...

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