of Forestry Dean Perry Brown is leading a panel of national wilderness experts enlisted by
the Pinchot Institute of Conservation to examine wilderness management priorities and
determine what must be done to care for existing wilderness into the future.
will assess how well the Forest Service, Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish
and Wildlife Service have implemented the 1964 Wilderness Act over the past 35 years. They
also will try to determine how those agencies can improve their management of the
nations wilderness in the next century.
The panel will look at coordination and consistency among the agencies, as well as the
importance an agency places on wilderness, the location of wilderness management in the
agency structure and how well it is staffed, Brown says.
What we would hope is that we can prepare a report that energizes the leadership
of the agencies and the departments in which they are located, he says. We
also want to make sure that people in Congress who are interested in wilderness work to
ensure that wilderness can be sustained into the future. The panels work will
be fed into the wilderness summit that Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck plans
to call next year, Brown says.
The 10-member panel includes former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; William
Reffalt, retired chief of refuges at the Fish and Wildlife Service; and Wilderness Society
President Bill Meadows.
The nonprofit Pinchot Institute for Conservation was founded in 1963 by President John
F. Kennedy. Gifford Pinchot was the first chief of the Forest Service.