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Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to Hold California Field Hearing on Restoring Access to Our Public Lands


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8, 2011 - On Monday, September 19, 2011 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold an Oversight Field Hearing in Sacramento, California on “Restoring Public Access to the Public’s Lands: Issues Impacting Multiple-use on Our National Forests.”

The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land, totaling 8 percent of the United States’ total land mass. In California, 18 national forests cover nearly 20 percent of the State. National forests serve as an important source of job creation, economic activity and recreation for local communities and visitors. However, decades of increasing land-use regulations and policies have nearly brought multiple-use to a standstill through declining timber harvests, grazing and reductions in recreational access. Meanwhile, millions of acres are consumed by devastating wildfire each year and suppression costs have risen to consume nearly 50 percent of the Agency’s budget. This hearing will focus on removing the barriers to multiple-use so that proper management of these lands is restored for the benefit of all taxpayers.

“Utah and other western states including California suffer each year from new and existing federal regulations and mandates that hinder multiple-use of our federal lands and resources. Many of these policies continue to be detrimental to the creation of jobs and the generation of revenue upon which so many communities rely. This is the wrong approach and defies the intent for which our national forests and public lands were created. This hearing will examine the effect of these policies on multiple-use and the subsequent impacts on communities and their local economies,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).

“For generations, the U.S. Forest Service maintained a balanced approach to the management of our forests that assured both healthy forests and a healthy economy. Now, it seems to be following a very different policy of exclusion, expulsion and benign neglect of our forests. These actions evince an ideologically driven hostility to the public’s use of the public’s land – and a clear intention to deny the public the responsible and sustainable use of that land. This important hearing will examine the damage caused by these policies and begin the process to restore Gifford Pinchot’s original vision for the Forest Service: ‘To provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run,’” said Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04).

WHO: National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman
Rob Bishop (UT-01),
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04),
and other possible Members.

WHAT: Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Oversight Field Hearing on:
“Restoring Public Access to the Public’s Lands: Issues Impacting Multiple-use on Our National Forests”

Witnesses to be announced.

WHEN: Monday, September 19, 2011
10:00 A.M. PDT

WHERE: Jesse M. Unruh Hearing Room,
California State Capitol Building
Sacramento, California

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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