Proclamation 4874 -- National Forest Products Week, 1981

October 9, 1981

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The first settlers arriving in our land looked to the forests as their key to survival in an untamed and often forbidding land. The forests gave them wood for shelter, fuel for warmth, and meat for their table. Since those early times, our Nation's bountiful forests have provided for the welfare of generations of Americans. Yet, there are almost as many trees in our forests today as when the first tree was felled by our forefathers.

Although the daily lives of most Americans are now far removed from the forest environment, forests still supply lumber for homes, paper for disseminating information, fuel for stoves and fireplaces, and thousands of other uses that have become so commonplace they are often taken for granted.

Forests play a vital role in maintaining a healthy economy -- more than 3 million Americans are employed in wood-dependent occupations, and their combined production is valued at about $100 billion each year. Moreover, our forests provide us with a wealth of other treasures that can carry no price tags -- water, wildlife, outdoor recreation, and wilderness.

The contribution forests must make to our Nation's welfare will remain just as great in the years ahead as in the past. To meet the needs of the future, our forests must benefit from effective timber management and from continuing research to find better ways to utilize forest products. Improved wood growth and usage will make more wood products available at affordable prices while helping to stimulate our entire economy.

America has been greatly blessed with the resources of our forests. To allow them to waste away, when they could benefit so many, would be to ignore our responsibilities of stewardship. Our forests must be managed in ways that are environmentally safe and that ensure they will be available for the enjoyment and use of future generations.

If we act intelligently, our forests will continue to benefit the economy, even as they nourish the human spirit. The need and opportunity to commune with nature, to seek solitude, and to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of America's forests must be respected and preserved. With wise forest management, the demands of aesthetics and economics will remain compatible.

To promote greater awareness and appreciation for our forest resources, the Congress has by Public Law 86 - 753, 36 U.S.C. 163, designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October as National Forest Products Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 18 through October 24, 1981, as National Forest Products Week and ask that all Americans express their appreciation for the Nation's forests through suitable activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 9th day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:38 p.m., October 9, 1981]