WASHINGTON – Fresh off of the Seed to Sawmill Tour of timber-heavy southern Arkansas, U.S. Senator John Boozman brought the lessons he learned from the Arkansas forestry industry to Washington to reform forest management practices.
Boozman - a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry- today helped advance H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 introduced by Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). The bill which passed the House of Representatives in July, was amended by the committee. The amended version continues to contain key portions authored by Westerman and is one step closer to Senate passage.
Boozman and Westerman’s Seed to Sawmill Tour featured proper forest management and the positive environmental impacts achieved through conservation efforts including a visit to the U.S. Forest Service’s Experimental Forest near Crossett, where the lawmakers learned about research into healthy forestry practices.
“There is a need for active forest management. This bill improves our ability to manage forests and increases the resiliency of forests in Arkansas and around the country. Forestry is an important industry that generates more than $3 billion per year to our state’s economy. I’m proud to support Congressman Westerman’s bill so future generations of Arkansans can benefit from this industry,” Boozman said.
“More than 10 million acres went up in smoke in 2015 as a result of decades of unmanaged forests and a government spending more on fighting fires and special interest groups in court than managing the forests in scientifically-proven ways,” Congressman Westerman stated. “The Resilient Federal Forests Act reins in frivolous lawsuits, allows federal agencies to manage the national forest system in a scientifically-sound way, and ends fire-borrowing in a cost-effective manner. I am glad Chairman Roberts took up this important legislation in committee. I hope the Senate passes the Resilient Federal Forests Act in the near future.”
Boozman and Westerman’s Seed to Sawmill Tour included stops in six counties.