The Time for Forest Management is Now

Posted: July 3, 2017

Source: Congressman Bruce Westerman

As the only Forester in Congress, I understand the mutually beneficial relationship that trees have to our economy and our environment. However, as a result of decades of no management, we have lliterally loved our trees to death. How so? The previous decision not to manage our federal forests has led to catastrophic wildfires charring 10.1 million acres in 2015. For this reason, on Tuesday (June 20), I proudly re-introduced the bi-partisan Resilient Federal Forests Act of2017.

The bi-partisan bill – co-sponsored by Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rick Nolan (D-MN), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Scott Tipton (R-CO) – received praise from House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ). This bill is also supported by well respected, credible outside organizations including the National Homebuilders Association and the National Association of Counties.

In today’s day and age there are many things Congress is divided on, but acting proactively for the protection of our federal lands, that span across state lines and know no party lines, should not be one of them.