Congress Votes to Restore Forests and Communities

Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2013) –Earlier this year, the Congressional Western Caucus held a field hearing in Denver, Colorado to discuss the pressing issue of how to empower states and local governments in the management of our forests.  Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, to do just that. This bipartisan legislation encourages state and local involvement in the management of forest land, helps ensure sustainable funding solutions for schools, and will hold the U.S. Forest Service accountable for keeping our forests healthy.

“For far too long, New Mexico’s forests have been victims of neglect and mismanagement,”said Congressman Steve Pearce. “This legislation brings common sense policies back to our forests. Catastrophic wildfires have destroyed forests across the nation because the people making the decisions about our forests are in Washington, not the surrounding communities. In addition to empowering those most affected by forest management policies, this bill increases timber production in areas already specifically identified by the Forest Service for timber harvests. This bill creates jobs, keeps our forests thriving, and helps local economies. It’s an all-around win for our forests and communities.”

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