Wilderness becomes a career path

  The Forest Service is about to give designated wilderness the bureaucratic attention it deserves, according to Jim Lyons, the nation's front-line politician overseeing the agency. The Forest Service is creating a new Washington, D.C.-based job, national director of wilderness, which "will be on a par with other program managers, such as timber, range and minerals," Lyons, the assistant agriculture secretary for environment and natural resources, said at a wilderness conference in Seattle in October. Lyons said the Forest Service will begin to make pay raises contingent, in part, on regional foresters' attention to the health of wilderness. Funding for ecosystem monitoring will be increased, he said, and all federal wilderness managers will be encouraged to get involved in the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, which was established a year ago on Montana's Lolo National Forest, and the Aldo Leopold National Wilderness Research Institute, established a year ago at the University of Montana in Missoula.


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