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Public Statements

Conservation and Economic Growth Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HERGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I rise in support of H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, which would extend the bipartisan Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Recovery Act for 7 more years, ensuring that the Forest Service has a stable
and consistent period to fully implement it. At the discretion of the Forest Service, the bill would also allow for its expansion to all National Forest system lands within parts of California and Nevada. The expansion of the pilot project will enable the Forest Service to use the effective QLG approach in additional forest communities.

The northern California congressional district I represent includes all or parts of seven national forests. The rural forest communities near to them have been devastated by years of mismanagement of our national forests. Nearly 20 years ago, a group of local environmentalists and citizens formed the Quincy Library Group to develop a collaborative and locally driven solution to bring health and stability to our communities and the forests they live in. The QLG's efforts brought about the bipartisan Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act.

Mr. Chairman, we need commonsense forest management that allows communities to utilize their natural resources and create jobs while also restoring the health of our forests. The Quincy Library Group pilot project can provide a model for achieving these critical goals.

In 2007, the 64,000-acre Moonlight fire occurred in the Plumas National Forest. That fire came to an abrupt halt when it reached Antelope, a QLG-constructed defensible fuel profile zone. It saved tens of thousands of spotted owl habitat from burning.

Mr. Chairman, this is the solution to our catastrophic wildfire problem that can and should be replicated. I urge my colleagues to extend and expand this balanced and collaborative project.

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