We were encouraged to read Ken Kane's comments regarding his nomination to the National Forest System Management Planning Advisory Committee.
Kane, a forester from the town of the same name in McKean County, noted "Everybody has their little segment they want, but they don't really look at the big picture, and that's what the planning process is about, looking at the big picture."
The multiple use paradigm that has been in place for the entire national forest system for decades often presents conflicts among competing interests. And, our national forest, the Allegheny, has more conflicting interests than most. It might even be argued that managing the Allegheny National Forest is the toughest nut in the whole National Forest System.
Unlike other national forests, the great majority of subsurface rights under the Allegheny are privately owned. While other national forests only have to contend with conflicting interests on the surface, the Allegheny is complicated by a sort of dualism. It is axiomatic that accessing subsurface property - hence, taking advantage of one's private property -necessitates the disturbance of the surface, which is the property of the federal government.
Kane's experience in the Allegheny National Forest is broad, and while chiefly in the realm of forestry, he is cognizant of the various conflicts that exist there. He is not oblivious to the Forest Service's obligation to logging, oil and gas exploration and recreation. And, likewise, he is aware of the competitive nature of those three demands on the half-million acres that occupy significant pieces of four northern Pennsylvania counties.
He knows the obvious that some people seem to forget: The Allegheny National Forest is not now and never has been a National Park. National Parks have different rules for a very different mission.
Based on Kane's statement about "the big picture" alone, we believe that he could provide valuable input to the National Forest System Management Planning Advisory Committee.