Skip to Content

Press Release

Committee Advances Bills to Empower States and Localities to Improve Forest Management

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a markup on 19 bills including two forest management bills—Rep. Raul Labrador’s (R-ID) Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act (H.R. 2316) and Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) State National Forest Management Act of 2015 (H.R. 3650). H.R. 2316 passed by a vote of 25-13 and H.R. 3650 passed by a vote of 23-15.

H.R. 2316 allows states to establish a forest demonstration program for state and local and sustainable forest management. The program will generate dependable economic activity for counties and local governments containing National Forest System land.

I am pleased that the Committee supported H.R. 2316, a bill that will help Idahoans and other hard-working Americans. I have spent the past several years working with county commissioners and others who are closest to the land to craft legislation that finally provides them the opportunity to manage the lands they love,” Rep. Labrador said. “The Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act provides an alternative to failing federal management. States will be able to show that they can manage our national forests in a manner that protects access, supports local communities and creates healthy forests.”

H.R. 3650 authorizes states to select and acquire certain National Forest System lands to be managed and operated by the state for timber production.

“Nowhere in the nation are federal land management decisions more destructive to communities and hardworking people than in the 17 million acre Tongass National Forest. What should be a straightforward and balanced process, given the size of the Tongass, the federal government has time and time again failed. In Alaska, we have a proven record of success in managing millions of acres of state parks and forests,” Rep. Young said.H.R. 3650 will give states an opportunity to show they are in fact the best stewards of our lands. By reforming the federal government’s broken system of forestry management, we will empower local communities, build resilient forests and streamline burdensome management practices. This bill works to end the constant fighting between our forestry communities and the federal government by allowing states to resolve their differences at home.”

Click to learn more about H.R. 2316 and H.R. 3650.