April 10, 2009
The Honorable Collin Peterson, Chairman
House Committee on Agriculture
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Peterson:
On behalf of The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) I am pleased to submit the attached response to the climate change questionnaire distributed by the House Committee on Agriculture on March 11, 2009.
The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) represents the directors of forestry agencies from the fifty states, eight U.S. territories and associated states, and the District of Columbia. As resource professionals with a public trust responsibility for managing and protecting the nation's nonfederal forests, NASF members understand and directly contribute to the critical role that forests play in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
As a founding participant of the Forest Climate Working Group (FCWG), NASF endorses that group's consensus responses that are being submitted under separate cover. The attached NASF responses are intended to supplement FCWG responses with recommendations from the state forestry agency perspective. A few key points from NASF comments are:
Forests can and must play a role in any options designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change impacts.
Forests provide carbon-friendly renewable products and ecosystem services as well as critical wildlife habitat-funding streams from cap and trade programs and carbon markets or fees should be dedicated to state forestry and wildlife agencies to support on the ground resource management capacity and efforts to address adaptation challenges.
The Forest Service State & Private Forestry (S&PF) and Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) programs are strong national assets well positioned to meet climate change needs and enable full participation by private forest landowners in carbon markets.
The USDA Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets is a concentrated source of expertise that should play a key role across government in determining how a cap and trade program and carbon markets or transactions are developed.
Thank you for your leadership on this important topic. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if NASF can be of additional service.