Highlights Arkansans’ Experience and Contributions to Forest Management, Climate Initiatives
May 20 2021
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), the lead Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, welcomed two Arkansans to testify before the full committee at a hearing focused on the forestry industry and the benefits of healthy forest management.
Boozman invited Arkansas State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters Joe Fox and Winrock International American Carbon Registry Director of Forestry Jessica Orrego to provide testimony about their experience with management of federal, state and private forestlands and the impacts of healthy forests on climate.
“Having Arkansas’s forestry sector represented in a meaningful way amid the discussion of forest management and its effect on our climate is significant. More than half of our state is forested, and the wood products industry is responsible for tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in income in the Natural State,” Boozman said. “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to hear from experts like Joe and Jessica, who provided incredibly valuable insights to this ongoing conversation.”
Fox stated in his testimony, “When forests are actively managed they provide a number of public benefits, including clean air and water, enhanced wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, recreational opportunities, watershed protection, timber production, and support to rural communities.”
“Joe Fox has an extensive background in the forestry industry, including having worked in a family-owned lumber business for two decades. He has done a tremendous job for the state of Arkansas,” Boozman said.
The senator cited Orrego’s work at Little Rock-based nonprofit Winrock International and her deep experience in project development, consulting and implementation for a wide range of climate-focused entities. He asked her how the federal government can help encourage more participation in voluntary carbon markets by private forest land owners.
“There is no need to reinvent in the wheel here. The carbon market is operating already and it is growing rapidly, so we recommend that any role that the government plays will work to complement the carbon market and the existing frameworks,” Orrego said.
Full video of the hearing can be viewed here.