State foresters make case for Farm Bill provision supporting state Forest Action Plans.
WASHINGTON—In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leadership yesterday, the nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters praised many of the chamber’s farm bill provisions and made an ask for one more:
“Please consider adopting language in conference with the House that will allow land managers to address national priorities identified in state Forest Action Plans through the Landscape Scale Restoration program,” requested George Geissler, NASF president and Washington state forester, on behalf of the association.
“Collectively, the state Forest Action Plans provide a roadmap for managing America’s forests. By codifying this program and funding it appropriately, state forestry agencies can tackle the nation’s most pressing forest priorities in the most cost-effective, collaborative, and coordinated ways. As the Senate farm bill is worded now, many worthy, high-priority projects in the states’ Forest Action Plans would not be considered for federal support.”
Other provisions in the bill—including its small tracts language, allowances for more active forest management on federal lands, support for the Community Wood Energy and Regional Conservation Partnership Programs, and funding for cross-boundary fuel treatments—were praised by state foresters.
“State foresters greatly appreciate the Senate’s unmistakeable dedication to developing a farm bill that supports the long-term health and productivity of America’s forests,” said Jay Farrell, NASF executive director. “We look forward to working with Congress in the coming days to ensure the final farm bill supports state foresters and their ability to address critical forest priorities through state Forest Action Plans.”
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