Mon 13 February 2006
The Seattle Times is reporting some details on President Bush's "Secure Rural Schools Initiative" which involves the largest US Forest Service land sales in decades in order to pay for rural school and roads. Some 309,421 acres will be up for sale which amounts to only 0.16 % of the 190 million acres managed by the Forest Service. Most of the parcels are isolated areas bordering private land.
Details and some limited maps of the initiative can be found here as well as a listing of forest service land that are potentially eligible for sale.
No doubt environmentalists, developers and timber companies will be scrutinizing these pieces of land in the coming months. More details and maps should be available around Feb 28th. Since the Forest Service is required to request public input on the sales, it would be nice if they could provide a GIS version of the maps for download... A public web GIS would inform the process immensely. I'll be keeping an eye out for some detailed GIS data. Let me know if you know of a good source.