The President's Forest Plan
Breaking Gridlock and Moving Forward

A bold, new way of doing business managing America's natural resources

For far too long, the Pacific Northwest and northern California were deadlocked in an emotional, polarizing debate over how to manage the region's federal forest lands. It was a dilemma that previous administrations failed to address, a problem that President Clinton inherited, and one that he made a priority to solve.

The President pledged to correct the mistakes of the past, put an end to the gridlock, and move the region forward. The President and his administration succeeded by creating a science-based, legal, and balanced forest management plan that provides for both economic opportunity and protection of the environment.

The plan is a visionary blueprint built on five fundamental goals

Years of frustrating legal logjams are coming to an end

The timber supply pipeline is flowing again

In 1991, the federal timber supply pipeline was shut down to a mere trickle. A federal court injunction put the timber sale program west of the Cascade mountains in a straight jacket, because the federal government did not have a forest plan that was both balanced and protected the region's forests, salmon, and water quality. A flurry of lawsuits followed, gridlock engulfed the region, previous administrations failed to address this dilemma, and during all of this activity of inaction, the timber supply pipeline was running dry.

The President stepped up to the challenge to get a sustainable timber supply pipeline flowing again. In 1994, the injunctions were lifted just two months after the President's Forest Plan's record of decision was announced.

For the first time in three years, the legal logjam was broken, and federal timber sales in the region of the northern spotted owl are moving forward.

Helping people help themselves: the Economic Adjustment Initiative

While unemployment for the entire region is at its lowest level in two decades, there are still areas where changes in forest management practices have impacted many people and the communities they call home. The President recognized that these impacts would occur, and that's why the Economic Adjustment Initiative is aimed at providing both immediate and long-term relief for these people, businesses and communities.

The Initiative provides the funds needed for developing much-needed infrastructure in impacted communities, providing technical and financial assistance to rural businesses, creating new jobs through restoring the region's forested watersheds, and job training and retraining opportunities for dislocated workers.

So far, in just this year, the Initiative has distributed more than $92 million in grants and loans; millions more will reach the region before the year ends. That builds on last year's success, which saw more than $126 million assist more than 100 communities.