Forestlands are one of the ongoing compromises between conversation and use in the management of the extensive system of America. The public lands are designated that include preservation of the ecosystems and wildlife habitats, recreations, and commercial development. These conflict ignites long-running government and public debates over policies. Generally, preservation is the priority, government does not permit activities that remove, or harvest resources, public lands are devoted clearly in commercial use like mineral development, and national forest policies stand astride between the lines.
National forests or forestlands provide the balance of conservations and the use activities that include outdoor recreations, watershed protections, livestock grazing, preservation of fish and wildlife habitats, and timber harvesting. The major issue that affects the forestlands is the level of timber harvesting for economic and fire safety purposes. In the 1970s, the conflicts over clear cutting prompted the making of the National Forest Management Act of 1976. However, the law is criticized as ineffective and expensive. With this, during the Clinton administration, they drafted new regulations that strongly established the ecological sustainability being the the top priority for forest management.
In 1994, 1996, and 2000, severe forest fires swept through National forests or forestlands, and the current fire season is expected to be worse. Some bodies blame the fires on forest density or large amounts of deadwood, and suggest that the forests should be thinned to prevent fires in the future to occur. Others asserted or argued that the repeated interference for timber harvesting is greatly degrading the ecosystem of the forests. That is why during the Bush administration they considered the expansion of fire control budget to about two million dollars.
Another issue is the forest roads building; these roads provide access to recreation sites and allow harvesting timber and fire control; however, the construction and maintenance of roads are expensive and cause extreme damages to the surrounding area. Under Clinton administration Roadless Areas Rule, the National Forest System Roadless Ares Initiative of 2002 prohibited road constructions and harvesting of timbers.
Thus, the government has the absolute prohibition on commercial access and the working compromise with companies.