Home > newsroom > Page
Forest Service Failing to Create Jobs, Stimulate Economy in Forest Management Practices


WASHINGTON, D.C., 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.


Contact: Crystal Feldman

Latest News

Proposed Legislation Aims to Ensure Input of Local Communities in Federal Land Management Decisions

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of “Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act (LOCAL Management Act).” The ...... Read more

Environmental Laws Threaten Safety in Borderland Communities

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on impediments imposed by federal land management regimes in securing the international borders of the United States. Federal lan...... Read more

Federal Land Management Agency’s Duplicative Regulation Acts in Opposition to Its ‘Stated’ Purpose

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on a recent regulation issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding methane on federal lands. While the BLM...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3565, H.R. 3839, H.R. 4233, H.R. 5132
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Local and State Perspectives on BLM’s Draft Planning 2.0 Rule
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
View All Events