National Forest Products Week Calls Attention to Need for Active Management of Our Public LandsPosted by Crystal Feldman on October 22, 2012
President Obama has declared October 21st through October 27th National Forest Products week in appreciation of the sustainable uses of our public lands. The federal government owns over 190 million acres of resource abundant forest lands that provide opportunities for economic development, timber and energy production, grazing, tourism and recreational activity. Through the responsible management of America’s national forests we can foster forest health and reduce the risk of wildfires while providing recreational opportunities, growing our economy and supporting thousands of American jobs.
However, over the past four years President Obama has implemented burdensome regulations that have locked-up our lands and threatened forest health. Obama Administration policies have contributed to increased forest density, insect infestation and the risk for catastrophic wildfire. In fact, President Obama’s final forest planning rule released earlier this year introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that will cost jobs, hinder proper forest management, prevent proper utilization of our natural resources, and add burdensome costs for Americans. Due to overregulation and frivolous lawsuits, timber production in our National Forests has dropped by over 80 percent in the last few decades. This drastic reduction in timber production has forced us to become more dependent on important wood products from foreign countries. Rather than employing a policy that creates jobs and balances our economic and recreational interests, President Obama has undermined the multiple-use benefits of this abundant resource.
Through responsible management of America’s National Forests we have the capacity to help turn our economy around and put Americans back to work. However, in order to do this, we must implement a multiple-use policy that allows for active management of our National Forests. During National Forest Products week let’s recognize our National Forests’ vast potential and call for the return to active management of this valuable resource.To learn more about what House Republicans are doing to increase access and enhance forest health click here.