Recognizing The Importance And Sustainability Of The United States Hardwoods Industry
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 81, which recognizes the importance and sustainability of the United States hardwoods industry. I introduced this resolution along with Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky and a group of our colleagues from across the country. This bipartisan support demonstrates the national importance of our domestic hardwood lumber industry, and I am pleased this Congress is recognizing the contributions the hardwood industry makes to both our economy and our environment.
Hardwood forest owners are stewards of a valuable national resource, and their efforts to conserve hardwood forests have been a remarkable success. Over the last 50 years, hardwood lumber stocks have more than doubled and hardwoods continue to grow almost twice as fast as they are harvested. The U.S. Forest Service analysis supports the evidence of this strong conservation record: the Forest Service's forest.
inventory and analysis program has documented hardwood trees to be an ``abundant, sustainable, and legal resource.''
Our hardwood forests are managed by thousands of small landowners and families who take care of this resource. Constituents of mine in southwest Indiana play a role in maintaining our hardwood stocks, and the same is true both throughout Indiana and across this country. Americans should be proud of this strong environmental record, and as Members of Congress, we ought to keep this fact in mind as we look for opportunities to support best practices in stewardship and environmental management.
For example, environmentally preferable construction programs are increasingly important to the building and trade industry; and should Congress direct support for these programs, we should remember domestic hardwoods and their potential to contribute to an environmentally friendly future. I was proud the House passed an amendment I offered to H.R. 2187 earlier this year to preserve sustainable hardwood lumber as a green construction resource for local school districts.
I thank my colleagues for their support of this resolution and of the domestic hardwood lumber industry.