US Rep. Duffy introduces bill that would require US Forest Service to meet annual timber harvest volume requirements on national forest lands, transfer forest management in forests where targets are not met after five years to state

WASHINGTON , May 2, 2014 (press release) – Currently, 65 million acres of the National Forest System remain at high or very high risk of catastrophic wildfires, and up to 82 million acres are in need of forest health treatments. U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07) introduced a bill this week that would require the U.S. Forest Service to manage national forest lands to meet annual timber harvest volume requirements in an effort to reduce these risks.

If, after five years, the Forest Service is unable to meet the requirements for a designated area, Rep. Duffy’s bill would allow the state in which the forest is located to apply to manage the area.

Rep. Duffy offered, “The state and counties have the resources and know-how to sustainably manage forest lands – management that is not currently taking place on federal forest lands. States should be given the opportunity to assist where the U.S. Forest Service is coming up short.

“Federal forests provide habitats for wildlife and offer amazing recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. They also serve as critical resources for our nation’s timber industry, from loggers and sawmill operators to manufacturers of forest products and biomass and renewable energy. We should do all we can to ensure that our forests, and surrounding communities, can be sustained for future generations.”

Some estimates show that as many as 4,000 jobs could be created if Wisconsin's forests were managed at allowable sustainable levels. 

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