John F. Kennedy photo

Statement of Senator John F. Kennedy on Forest Resources, Washington, DC

October 27, 1960

Increased attention to forestry - our great publicly owned national forests, the millions of small privately owned forest tracts, forest and watershed research - is one of the most meaningful investments we can make in achieving the economic strength essential to our national goals. National strength and leadership are the direct result of a strong and productive renewable resource base.

Forestry and watershed programs to which I am alluding cannot be done in 1 year or 10 years. Benefits may be as far away as the life - time of a tree. We must move now, with much more imagination and initiative than ever before.

Our great public forests yield water, timber, forage, recreation, game and other wildlife, and minerals. The impact of our national growth upon them in recent years has been felt keenly. This impact will be even greater in the future.

For public and private forestry to contribute its real and effective share to our expanding economy, present research must be accelerated in every organized field of economic and social activity. Additional new starts are needed to achieve significant breakthroughs and new horizons in managing timber, soil and water, forage, wildlife habitat, and recreation resources, and protecting these extremely valuable national assets from fire, insects, and diseases.

If we are to meet our goals in wood fiber requirements in the next 40 years, our total production must be doubled. All forest land ownership, government and private, will demand accelerated attention to meet this need.

The greatest opportunity for improvement is on the small, privately owned woodland tracts throughout the country, which represent about half of our Nation's total forest land. Private credit sources are not available to the average small woodland owner for purchase and development of forested properties. Expansion and liberalization of present Government credit sources, Federal and State, tailored to meet the needs of the small owner are needed until ready private credit sources develop. More research is needed to show owners how their forest lands can be better managed.

Today's resource problems are closely interrelated. Conservation of our water supplies affects the irrigation of our land and our stocks of fish. Forest development influences power development, and our power development can only be carried out with a careful eye to the need for flood protection and needs of navigation. Soil conservation affects water supply and game supplies for our hunters, as well as our continued ability to meet our food and fiber needs. It is becoming increasingly essential that we consider all our resources in the light of their relationship to each other, as well as to the needs of the economy as a whole and the people as a whole. Our forest resources cannot and will not be neglected in my administration.

John F. Kennedy, Statement of Senator John F. Kennedy on Forest Resources, Washington, DC Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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