State foresters honor Congressman Norm Dicks

Bernard L. Orell Award recognizes commitment to state and private forestlands.

WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters honored Congressman Norm Dicks, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, with the 2009 Bernard L. Orell Award. The award is named in memory of Bernard L. Orell (1914-1983), State Forester of Washington from 1949-1953, and recognizes members of Congress that have shown an exceptional commitment to the health of state and private forests.

“Chairman Dicks has proven to be a great champion for investing federal dollars in state and private forestry. His leadership recognizes that public benefits are derived from private as well as public forests,” said NASF President and Maryland State Forester Steven W. Koehn. “Federal investment in all forests provides essential support and creates opportunities for innovation for states to focus their work on high-priority landscapes and achieve maximum positive impact on the land and in local communities.”

Chairman Dicks’ leadership helped to restore funding to Forest Service programs during debate over the FY2010 Interior Appropriations bill. His support of full State & Private Forestry authorities in the economic stimulus bill recognized the role State Foresters can play in delivering green jobs in a struggling economy. And he was also a key ally in the collective effort to find a wildfire suppression funding fix for the Forest Service and Department of the Interior.

Congressman Norm Dicks has been a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1977. As chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, he is in a leadership position on federal environmental and natural resource policies. Dicks was presented the award at a special reception in Washington, DC, on December 9.

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