Task Force On Forests Makes Progress

Apr 8, 2014

A group tasked with making recommendations about forest policy in Wyoming is meeting this week in Saratoga.

Originally called the Governor’s Forest Health Task Force, the group dropped that name after members couldn’t agree on what constitutes forest health. Jessica Crowder, with the Governor’s office, says the new name, Task Force on Forests, better reflects the broad range of management ideas the group is considering.

“Forest health is a very diverse term, it’s a term that means something different to a lot of different people," Crowder says. "We’re kind of getting to that anyway without labeling forest health as our one main goal.”

The governor has asked the group to make recommendations in three areas: wildfires and other disturbances, forest management, and economic opportunities. Formal recommendations won’t be finalized until the group’s last meeting in June, but Crowder says the task force has already made quite a bit of progress.

“It’s possible that the recommendations could lead to styles of resource on-the-ground management, budget management, both state and federal, recommendations to maybe local governments or private groups...” Crowder says.

Forest management, encompassing everything from water issues to timber management and recreation is on the agenda for the Saratoga meeting, which runs Tuesday through Thursday and is open to the public.