State Foresters Visit Capitol Hill, Rep. Westerman Receives NASF Award

As the 114th Congress concludes another session, State Foresters were on Capitol Hill this week to speak with their members about policies that will conserve, protect and enhance America’s trees and forests.

Ten State Foresters visited more than 20 offices to ask members to consider the following recommendations: 

  • Pass a wildfire funding and federal forest reform bill;
  • Expand Good Neighbor Authority;
  • Pass the bipartisan Landscape Scale Restoration bill;
  • Support the Forest Stewardship Program;
  • Support the Urban And Community Forestry Program
  • Understand and support long term goals as outlined in NASF’s presidential transition platform.

Trees and forests built America and are essential for the nation’s growth and success. State forestry agencies are poised to support the Trump Administration and new Congress with recommendations for capitalizing on the benefits of trees and forests. Learn more about NASF’s recommendations for forest policy in the presidential transition action plan.

NASF also hosted a celebratory reception for its partners in forestry, which included the presentation of the 2016 Bernard L. Orell Award. This year’s recipient was Congressman Bruce Westerman, a professional forester, who has worked across the aisle to help support policy efforts to actively manage and protect trees and forests, the nation’s "natural capital". Congressman Westerman introduced the Resilient Federal Forests Act, commonly called the “Westerman Bill,” a bill which had bipartisan support and is reflective of NASF’s position on federal forest management reform.  The bill streamlines process, encourages collaboration and supports more active forest management.  The Congressman also helped launch the bipartisan Working Forests Caucus to advocate for working forests across the United States.

The Bernard L. Orell Award was named in memory of Mr. Orell who was the State Forester of Washington State from 1949 to 1953. Orell left the state forestry agency to enter industry and eventually became the vice president at Weyerhaeuser where he became a leader in the development of national forestry policy. This award is limited to Members of Congress and is only presented to the most deserving individuals in our nation’s Congress. The most recent recipients of the Orell Award were Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) in 2014.

Learn more about NASF’s policy priorities at www.stateforesters.org/current-issues-and-policy.

Contact: Gary Schiff, NASF Policy Director at gschiff@stateforesters.org.