4This paper presents an overview of the conclusions developed by 35 participating scientists and land managers at a scientific workshop held in Sun Valley, Idaho, November 14-20, 1993. The conclusions presented here are those of the authors, but reflect discussions of the entire group, and are based upon conclusions reached by those participants in working groups.

The forests of the Inland West are, over wide regions, not healthy. Remedial, restorative, and preventative treatment and management–particularly on the federal lands–is urgently needed. A brief window of opportunity, perhaps 15–30 years in length, exists. Without timely management intervention, the region is threatened by major ecological setbacks–pest epidemics and uncontrollable wildfires–that will damage resource values and convert large areas into new even-aged forest systems that set the stage for a repeat of the current problems far into the 21st Century. The scientific tools to understand these problems and mitigate them exist today, but are not being applied on the federal forests rapidly enough to meet the urgency of the situation. The current legal and procedural requirements on federal land management agencies impose time delays which, combined with public opposition to timber harvesting, prevent timely management, doom major forest areas to needless loss and damage, and impose large (and, perhaps, preventable) costs on both local and national economies.