At a hearing held by the House Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry today, NASF President and Connecticut State Forester Christopher Martin testified on behalf of NASF regarding several opportunities to conserve and enhance America’s forests through the next Farm Bill.
State foresters believe the Farm Bill is a unique opportunity to support rural America’s economic backbone and improve the quality of life for all Americans by enhancing support for America’s trees and forests. Recent Farm Bills have also been instrumental in elevating the role of forestry within conservation title programs. The 2018 Farm Bill (coupled with the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill) built upon 2014 Farm Bill achievements by both streamlining decision-making and expanding authorities within several forestry programs and by creating several new programs and authorities to provide for cross-boundary and landscape-scale forest management.
State forestry agencies work proactively with federal agencies to implement a suite of federal forest management programs – many of which are bolstered through Farm Bill investments. These programs provide invaluable support to small private landowners and create significant on-the-ground wins for forests and communities nationwide.
The full text of President Martin’s testimony is linked below. It includes recommendations on five key issues: Good Neighbor Authority, the Landscape Scale Restoration Program, Promoting Cross-Boundary Wildfire Mitigation, Post-Disaster Landowner Assistance and the Emergency Forest Restoration Program, and Forestry Support Provided by Conservation Programs. This hearing was recorded and will be archived here.