April 04, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Angus King (I-Maine), joined by a bipartisan group of Senators, today launched the new Senate Working Forests Caucus. The Caucus, which has 11 inaugural members, will serve as a forum for policies that promote and preserve America’s working forests.
“Most working forests – over seventy percent nationally – are privately owned by families, who have passed down their operation from generation to generation” said Senator Risch, a graduate of the University of Idaho's College of Forestry. “This caucus will serve as a resource to those families and communities who rely on working forests, while advancing policies that support and encourage responsible, active forest management.”
“Like many states, Maine’s forest products industry has always been a rich part of our heritage, and today, it remains a critical part of our economy,” Senator King said. “Generations of Maine families have made their living by working in the forest, and it’s crucial that we continue to support policies that will foster growth in the forest products sector for years to come. I look forward to partnering with Senator Risch and our colleagues to advance the interests of forest workers and strengthen rural communities through the work of this caucus.”
Private working forests support more than 2.4 million jobs nationally, including equipment suppliers and service and transportation providers. Through the Senate Working Forests Caucus, members will work to advance policies that support active forest management, restore national forest lands into healthy, fire-tolerant forests, and help bring much-needed natural resources into the marketplace.
“This is a vital forum for members of the Senate to educate their colleagues on the importance of working forests to constituents and communities in every state,” said Dave Tenny, founding President and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), an organization devoted to promoting the benefits of private forests in federal policy. “We are grateful to Senators Risch and King for their leadership and to their colleagues for supporting our nation’s working forests, the communities they support, and the good men and women who work so hard to manage them responsibly.”
Today, ahead of the caucus launch, Senators Risch and King toured the National Building Museum’s exhibit, Timber City. According to the museum’s website, “The exhibition demonstrates the many advantages offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including surprising strength, fire resistance, sustainability, and beauty.”
Photo 1: Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), along with forest industry professionals at the National Building Museum’s Timber City Exhibit