Huffman Offers Amendment to Improve Federal Forest Management

July 31, 2013

WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today offered an amendment in the Natural Resources Committee to replace environmentally-damaging provisions in pending forest management legislation with bipartisan Senate-supported language to extend critical federal programs like Secure Rural Schools and Stewardship Contracting.

The Republican bill before the committee, the “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act” (H.R. 1526), would make dramatic changes to federal forest management policy, including shortchanging environmental reviews, mandating timber production quotas in all national forest units, preemption of roadless areas and national monument designations, and reducing public collaboration. Huffman’s amendment would replace many of the controversial provisions of H.R. 1526 with bipartisan policy recommendations already under consideration in the Senate.

Responsible stewardship of our natural resources is critical to the health of our forests, fire safety, and to local economies in many rural districts like mine. My amendment would ensure a bipartisan and balanced approach to resource management and provide extended funding for rural schools,” Congressman Huffman said. “Rather than moving forward with a partisan bill that has no chance of being signed into law, we ought to focus on this type of consensus approach to managing federal forest lands and supporting rural schools.”

This April, Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris testified before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation in support of collaborative forest management and the need for a balanced approach to resource management. Huffman’s amendment builds on Supervisor Morris’ testimony and includes bipartisan provisions to reauthorize stewardship contracting authority, which has aided in the success of the Weaverville Community Forest in Trinity County.