Americans Urge Senate Action on Forest Management Solutions

Over 100 forestry, outdoor, education and county associations recently urged Senate leaders to take action on forest management legislation for the benefit of forest health and rural communities. In a letter, the groups write that solutions are needed in light of poor forest conditions and the resulting record-setting forest fires:

Dear Senators:

We are encouraged by the growing bipartisan recognition that the federal government’s current approach to managing our federal forests is badly broken and needs to be promptly addressed through legislation. We represent diverse interests who use our federal forests for business, recreation and enjoyment. We urge the Senate to begin moving legislation that directs the Forest Service and BLM to accelerate the pace and scope of forest management. The House has already passed legislation, and now the Senate should too.

Maintaining the health of our federal forests is vital to maintaining healthy watersheds; retaining abundant and diverse wildlife populations; and providing abundant recreational opportunities. Rural businesses, infrastructure, and employment opportunities in counties with federal forests continue to suffer and must be restored. The resiliency of rural, forested communities near federal lands depends on healthy, well-managed forests. Outdoor recreation and active forest management are mutually dependent. Hikers, anglers, and hunters all want to recreate in vibrant, growing forests — not burned or dead forests.

Poor forest health isn’t confined to Western States where large wildfires continue to consume a record number of acres and cost billions to suppress; National Forests across the U.S. are experiencing declining growth rates, overstocked unhealthy conditions, and a substantial increase in insect infestations.

Legislation needs to reduce the cost of environmental reviews, reduce the number of lawsuits and appeals after projects have been identified through environmental review, and expedite the process for projects and programs to restore and maintain the health of our federal forests. If we take action, resource-dependent communities, members of the public that use our federal forests, and the forests themselves will be much better served than they are today.

Our organizations stand ready to work with you to move forward on legislation to restore and maintain the health of our federal forests and rural communities through active forest management.

Respectfully Signed,

American Forest Resource Council
Associated California Loggers
Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho
Association of Consulting Foresters
Association of Oregon Loggers
Black Hills Forest Resource Association
Alabama Forestry Association
Alaska Forestry Association
Alaska Municipal League
American Forest and Paper Association
Archery Trade Association
Arizona County Supervisors Association
Arkansas Forestry Association
Associated California Loggers
Association of Arkansas Counties
Association of Minnesota Counties
Association of O&C Counties
Association of Oregon Counties
Bear Trust International
Boone and Crockett Club
California State Association of Counties
Californian Forestry Association
Cascade School District #2 (ID)
Catch-A-Dream Foundation
Colorado Counties, Inc.
Colorado Rural Schools Caucus
Colorado Timber Industry Association
Communities for Healthy Forests
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Conservation Force
Dallas Safari Club
Douglas Timber Operators
El Dorado County Chamber
Empire State Forest Products Association
Evergreen Forest Counties Group
Federal Forest Resource Coalition
Florida Forestry Association
Forest County (WI)
Forest Industry Labor Management Committee
Forest Landowners Association
Forest Resources Association
Georgia County Association
Georgia Forestry Association
Hawaii Forest Industry Association
Hardwood Federation
Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
Idaho Association of Counties
Intermountain Forestry Association
Kentucky Association of Counties
Kentucky Forestry Association
Local 3074 Carpenters Industrial Council
Louisiana Forestry Association
Masters of Foxhounds Association
Michigan Association of Counties
Minnesota Forest Industries
Mississippi Forestry Association
Missouri Association of Counties
Montana Association of Counties
Montana Logging Association
Montana Wood Products
Mule Deer Foundation
National Association of Counties
National Association of Forest Service Retirees
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of State Foresters
National Forest Counties & Schools Coalition
National Hardwood Lumber Association
National Institute for the Elimination of Catastrophic Wildfire
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
New Mexico Forest Industry Association
North American Grouse Partnership
North Carolina Forestry Association
Oregon Forest Industries Council
Partnership For Rural America
Pennsylvania Forest Products Association
Pope and Young
Quality Deer Management Association
Resource Management of Northern California
Ruffed Grouse Society
Rural County Representatives of California
Rural Public Lands County Council
Safari Club International
Sheriff Lopy Foundation
Silver Valley Superintendents Association (ID)
Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office
Siskiyou County Supervisors (CA)
Skamania County Commissioners (WA)
Society For Range Management
South Carolina Forestry Association
South Dakota Association of Counties
Southern Oregon Timber Industry Association
Tennessee Forestry Association
Texas Association of Counties
Texas Forestry Association
The Campfire Club of America
Tillamook County Commissioners (OR)
Tread Lightly!
Treated Wood Council
U.S Chamber Of Commerce
Virginia Forest Products Association
Virginia Forestry Association
Washington Contract Loggers Association
Washington Forest Protective Association
Washington State Association of Counties
Western States Sheriffs Association
Western Wood Preservers Institute
Whitetails Unlimited
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Management Institute
Wildlife Mississippi
Wisconsin Association of Counties
Wyoming County

Americans Urge Senate Action on Forest Management Solutions