The National Association of State Foresters signed onto a letter today in support of the bipartisan REPLANT Act (S. 4357 and H.R. 7843). The bill would allow the USDA Forest Service to address the 8 million acres of national forests in need of reforestation by removing an existing cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund.
The Reforestation Trust Fund is funded through import tariffs on wood products. The fund generates over $120 million per year, but presently, the USDA Forest Service is only able to utilize $30 million annually for reforestation efforts. The REPLANT Act would remove the outdated cap limiting these funds and empower the Forest Service to plant or naturally regenerate more than 1.2 billion trees and sustain nearly 49,000 jobs over the next decade.
Each year, the acreage in need of immediate reforestation in national forests grows by approximately 200,000 acres. Now more than ever, at a time when America is turning to our public lands for solace and the national economy is in great turmoil, it is critical that Congress pass the REPLANT Act.
Click below to read the letter in full.