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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4200, Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4200, FOREST EMERGENCY RECOVERY AND RESEARCH ACT

Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this legislation today. H.R. 4200 comes before you today after more than 2 years of work by Representatives Baird, Herseth, Goodlatte, Gilchrest, myself and many others.

Mr. Speaker, we have worked on more than 50 drafts of this legislation in an open and inclusive process, deliberately in an attempt to produce legislation that carefully reduces the obstacles to forest recovery following catastrophic events such as massive wildfires, blowdowns and ice storms.

Mr. Speaker, we moved the bill successfully through the House Resources Committee on a 25-13 bipartisan vote, and through the House Agriculture Committee by a 36-3 bipartisan vote, easily defeating all opposing amendments.

The Congressional Budget Office score, while showing an initial cost of $5 million in the first year, shows the bill will reduce spending by the Federal Government by $21 million from 2007 through 2011, and will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in net revenue for the land management agencies.

Mr. Speaker, this poster next to me here shows what happens on our Federal forests in terms of replanting costs and salvage value.

The longer you take to replant a forest, the more it costs. The longer you wait to salvage, if that is the plan, the less value you get out of it. This is pretty simple science, pretty simple and explanatory math that explains what we are trying to accomplish here. Salvage sooner, plant sooner, restore the forest quicker.

We come to you today with 146 cosponsors; the support of hundreds of organizations and thousands of forest and conservation professionals; wildland firefighting organizations, the real ones, the ones that actually represent thousands and thousands of the people who put their lives on the line to extinguish the fires in our forest. Organizations representing labor have weighed in strongly in support of this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I will insert into the RECORD at this point letters that I have received and others have in support of this legislation.

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Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this legislation today. H.R. 4200 comes before you today after more than 2 years of work by Representatives Baird, Herseth, Goodlatte, Gilchrest, myself and many others.

Mr. Speaker, we have worked on more than 50 drafts of this legislation in an open and inclusive process, deliberately in an attempt to produce legislation that carefully reduces the obstacles to forest recovery following catastrophic events such as massive wildfires, blowdowns and ice storms.

Mr. Speaker, we moved the bill successfully through the House Resources Committee on a 25-13 bipartisan vote, and through the House Agriculture Committee by a 36-3 bipartisan vote, easily defeating all opposing amendments.

The Congressional Budget Office score, while showing an initial cost of $5 million in the first year, shows the bill will reduce spending by the Federal Government by $21 million from 2007 through 2011, and will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in net revenue for the land management agencies.

Mr. Speaker, this poster next to me here shows what happens on our Federal forests in terms of replanting costs and salvage value.

The longer you take to replant a forest, the more it costs. The longer you wait to salvage, if that is the plan, the less value you get out of it. This is pretty simple science, pretty simple and explanatory math that explains what we are trying to accomplish here. Salvage sooner, plant sooner, restore the forest quicker.

We come to you today with 146 cosponsors; the support of hundreds of organizations and thousands of forest and conservation professionals; wildland firefighting organizations, the real ones, the ones that actually represent thousands and thousands of the people who put their lives on the line to extinguish the fires in our forest. Organizations representing labor have weighed in strongly in support of this legislation.

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