Writing for The Hill, a Washington DC newspaper, we explain how reforming federal forest management can help President Trump achieve his goal of boosting American manufacturing jobs:
President Donald Trump has consistently pledged to create more American jobs by promoting domestic manufacturing and reforming federal regulations. Forest products represent a major portion of the nation’s manufacturing base. By putting more Americans back to work on our federally-owned forests, the president can restore economic opportunity while protecting public lands for the future.
The president is off to a good start by appointing Ryan Zinke and Sonny Perdue to lead the departments of Interior and Agriculture, respectively. Both recognize the needs of our rural forested communities and their deep connection to federal forest lands. Both recognize we can responsibly utilize our natural resources while upholding important conservation values.
Our rural communities and our federal forests have suffered from years of neglect. Due in part to the lack of active management activities such as timber harvest and thinning, more than 80,000,000 acres of America’s forests are threatened by catastrophic wildfire, insects and disease. Populations of vulnerable wildlife species such as the spotted owl continue to decline despite heavy-handed regulations and massive land set asides. Other wildlife species are suffering due to the lack of suitable mixed and young forest habitat, which can be addressed through active forest management. Read the rest at The Hill.
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