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MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS UNDER WAY

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The National Forest Foundation kicked off its membership campaign by signing U.S. Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas as a member. The campaign officially began July 15.

The foundation's goal is to have more than 20,000 members by the end of this year and to reach the 1 million members in the near future. These members will help provide leadership and support to the stewardship of the nation's forest resources, increase public awareness and understanding of national forests, generate and distribute funds for the protection, management and conservation of mutual interests, and provide private investment in public service and resources."The growing population and increasing use of the 191 million acres of forests and related resources makes it the opportune time for the National Forest Foundation and U.S. Forest Service to strengthen their partnership and the management of forests by involving individuals who care about conservation and the environment," said J. Lamar Beasley, executive director of the foundation.

The national Forest foundation was created by Congress to be the official nonprofit partner for the Forest Service and serves to bring people together to care for the nation's forests.

In addition to the personal benefit of joining, members will receive a personalized membership card, a foundation vision, mission and beliefs document, and automobile decal, a Smokey Bear fire prevention sticker, a quarterly newsletter and a guide to the national forests.