16 U.S. Code § 581j - Congressional declaration of policy on reforestation and revegetation
It is the declared policy of the Congress to accelerate and provide a continuing basis for the needed reforestation and revegetation of national-forest lands and other lands under administration or control of the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture in order to obtain the benefits hereinbefore enumerated.
The benefits hereinbefore enumerated, referred to in text, means the benefits enumerated in the preamble to Joint Res. 53, Oct. 11, 1949, ch. 674, 63 Stat. 762. The preamble is set out as a note below.
Functions of all officers, agencies, and employees of Department of Agriculture transferred with certain exceptions, to Secretary of Agriculture by Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1953, § 1, eff. June 4, 1953, 18 F.R. 3219,67 Stat. 633, set out as a note in Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
The preamble to act Oct. 11, 1949, provided that:
“Whereas the national forests of the United States contain approximately eighty million acres of the Nation’s commercial timber lands and approximately eighty-three million acres of the Nation’s important grazing lands; and
“Whereas these national-forest lands comprise the principal source of water supply for domestic, irrigation, and industrial purposes for thousands of communities, farms, and industries, and good forest and other vegetative cover is essential for watershed protection; and
“Whereas these lands annually supply approximately four billion board-feet of forest products through twenty-seven thousand sales transactions and the demand for national forest timber is steadily increasing; and
“Whereas these lands are the sole or main source of summer range for ten million cattle and sheep grazed by thirty thousand livestock permittees whose livelihood is wholly or partially dependent upon livestock grazed on national-forest ranges; and
“Whereas these lands contain over four million acres of denuded and unsatisfactorily stocked timberlands and an additional four million acres of seriously depleted range lands; and
“Whereas all of these lands are potentially capable of producing an important part of the timber and forage needs of local communities, and contributing to the protection of watersheds, thereby alleviating flood damage and insuring a continuing water supply, increasing opportunity for local employment, bringing greater stability to local communities, and increasing returns to counties in the national forests from their share of national forests receipts, together with other benefits; and
“Whereas these lands will not restock or revegetate satisfactorily or within a reasonable time except through reforestation and revegetation or other measures to induce restocking or revegetation; and
“Whereas it is practical to reforest these denuded and unsatisfactorily stocked timber lands and revegetate these seriously depleted range lands in a period of fifteen years; and
“Whereas it is necessary to provide reasonable continuity of reforestation and revegetation programs in order to insure effective, efficient, and economical operations: Therefore be it”.