WASHINGTON — The National Association of State Foresters was pleased to see bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate yesterday that would allow forest management projects undertaken with Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) to include necessary road repairs and reconstruction.
“When properly and actively managed, forests provide a wealth of benefits, including clean drinking water for over 68,000 communities, millions of recreational and job opportunities, critical wildlife habitat, and so much more,” said George Geissler, the president of NASF and state forester for Oklahoma. “In order to create and maintain healthy and productive national forests through active management, some road repairs are needed to facilitate access.”
Since GNA was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, 32 state have broken ground on over 130 management projects on national forests. Through these projects, states are contributing to the restoration of federal forests on a scale never before realized.
The Good Neighbor Authority Improvement Act – co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – would allow state forestry agencies to make road repairs when conducting this highly beneficial forest management work.
“From our perspective, it is simply good government for forest management to be undertaken in the most timely and cost-efficient manner. Good Neighbor Authority helps us do that,” said Jay Farrell, the executive director of NASF. “This bill also supports the goals of the National Cohesive Fire Strategy and individual State Forest Action Plans by providing additional opportunities for state forestry agencies to work with our federal partners to enhance the resiliency of federal forest lands.”
Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook, NASF Communications Director at (202) 624-5417 and firstname.lastname@example.org