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Can you really make everybody happy these days? Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack seemed to do just that Friday in his first major policy address on the nation’s forests, according to Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times. Vilsack said: “It is time for a change in the way we view and manage America’s forestlands with an eye toward the future. This will require a new approach that engages the American people and stakeholders in conserving and restoring both our national forests and our privately owned forests. It is essential that we reconnect Americans across the nation with the natural resources and landscapes that sustain us.”

Murphy allowed that the address was “short on specifics,” but it “elicited a generally positive reaction from conservationists and the timber industry — groups that often find very little to agree on.” For instance, Murphy said the Sierra Club was impressed by Vilsack’s “all lands approach.” The guy from the American Forest Resource Council said he was “encouraged by (Vilsack’s) recognition that maintaining our milling and logging infrastructure is going to be important in maintaining the health of the forests.”

Vilsack must be happy — and, if smart, got out of town quickly.

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