Home > blog > Page
Forest Service Failing to Create Jobs, Stimulate Economy in Forest Management Practices
Posted by Crystal Feldman on December 20, 2012

During the height of this year’s record-breaking fire season, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a legislative hearing on bills to address forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fire. Following a Forest Service report on the need for restoration on 65-82 million acres of National Forest land, the Forest Service testified that it had restored 3.7 million acres in 2011. Restoration is the process of assisting recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Following the hearing, we submitted a series of questions to get further detail on what methods the agency used to “restore” these lands.

In its response, the Forest Service explained that of those 3.7 million acres, over 1.4 million – nearly 40% of the total – were “restored” through a combination of prescribed fire (fire intentionally set and monitored by the agency) and wildland-use fire (fire allowed to burn to achieve resource objectives). Meanwhile, commercial harvest was only allowed on 195,477 acres - 5% of the total work for 2011 and only .1% of the 193 million acres managed by the Forest Service.

In short, the Forest Service “restored” seven times more land by the use of wildfire than by management to produce merchantable wood products, support jobs, or generate economy activity and revenue for our rural forest communities and schools. The 195,000 acres treated this year produced 2.4 billion board feet of timber – down 80% over the last twenty years. This decline in forest management has resulted in millions of acres of unhealthy forests caused by insect and disease infestation and overgrowth, an ever growing threat of catastrophic wildfire, and significant damage to local economies.

This data shows that there is tremendous opportunity to restore active management of our forests that will create jobs and foster economic development.

    Post a Comment
    Fill out the fields below to submit a comment

    Latest News

    Committee Passes Bipartisan Bill to Safeguard Electric Transmission, Enhance Grid Reliability

    Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1873, the “Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act,” bipartisan vote of 24-14. Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Kurt Schrad...... Read more

    Committee Advances Slate of Bills to Boost Water and Power Infrastructure

    Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed a slate of bills to expand and improve our nation’s water and power infrastructure. The bills represent one segment of the Committee’s contributi...... Read more

    Bishop Opening Statement on Markup: Infrastructure Proposals to Advance

    Live Webcast: Click HERE. Remarks as prepared for delivery: “Today, the Committee will consider a range of bills to protect and improve our nation’s water and power infrastructure, spur job creation a...... Read more

    View All News

    Calendar

    Oversight Hearing on Examining the Consequences of Executive Overreach of the Antiquities Act
    Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
    Oversight Hearing on the Challenges of Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Opportunities for New Development
    Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
    View All Events