(a) Findings

The Congress finds that–

Terms Used In 7 USC 6611

  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • economically disadvantaged: means economic hardship due to the loss of jobs or income (labor or proprietor) derived from forestry, the wood products industry, or related commercial enterprises such as recreation and tourism in the national forest. See 7 USC 6612

(1) the economic well-being of rural America is vital to our national growth and prosperity;

(2) the economic well-being of many rural communities depends upon the goods and services that are derived from National Forest System land;

(3) the economies of many of these communities suffer from a lack of industrial and business diversity;

(4) this lack of diversity is particularly serious in communities whose economies are predominantly dependent on timber and recreation resources and where management decisions made on National Forest System land by Federal and private organizations may disrupt the supply of those resources;

(5) the Forest Service has expertise and resources that could be directed to promote modernization and economic diversification of existing industries and services based on natural resources;

(6) the Forest Service has the technical expertise to provide leadership, in cooperation with other governmental agencies and the private sector, to assist rural communities dependent upon National Forest System land resources to upgrade existing industries and diversify by developing new economic activity in non-forest-related industries; and

(7) technical assistance, training, education, and other assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture can be targeted to provide immediate help to those rural communities in greatest need.

(b) Purposes

The purposes of this subchapter are–

(1) to provide assistance to rural communities that are located in or near National Forest System land and that are economically dependent upon natural resources or are likely to be economically disadvantaged by Federal or private sector land management practices;

(2) to aid in diversifying such communities’ economic bases; and

(3) to improve the economic, social, and environmental well-being of rural America.