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Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act (1960)

Enacted in 1960, the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act put into legislation the ethos of the conservation movement. Specifying that the national forests be “administered for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes,” the act had the effect of giving the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) a sometimes contradictory mandate. What many people saw as an agency charged with preserving the natural beauty of U.S. forests was actually an agency with a directive to manage the level of development of the forest lands so that the yield of forest products would be sustainable over the long term. However, this was not a radical shift for the USFS, as the new directive embodied what the agency had already been doing for many decades. In fact, the ...

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