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Sizing up the importance of our vast national forests

A number of people roughly equivalent to half of the U.S. population visits national forests every year.

They certainly have lots of opportunities, with 193,000,000 acres of land inside those forests, stretching from the Chugach in Alaska to the Ocala in Florida. Yet the forests are still used for timber and mining and other commercial concerns.

Greg M. Peters, who used to work for the nonprofit National Forest Foundation, includes recreation, logging, controversy, and more in the book Our National forests: Stories from America's Most Important Public Lands. The author visits with a taste of his ambitious overview.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.