Today, Representatives Mike Michaud and Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi) introduced a resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of the McIntire-Stennis (M-S) Forestry Program, which was the result of a bill introduced by and named after their home state members of Congress: Republican Representative Clifford G. McIntire of Maine and Democratic Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi. The bill was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on October 10, 1962.
"This program has provided critical support for establishing and growing forestry research and graduate training programs at colleges and universities across the country," said Michaud. "Our forest products industry and the health of our forests are critical to Maine's economy and way of life. I'm proud to join with my colleague from Mississippi to honor the vision behind this law, the bipartisanship displayed by its passage, and all that has been accomplished for our forests and our economy as a result."
Since the start of the M-S program, Maine has received $19.6 million in federal funding and matched it with another $82 million, for a total investment in forest research and graduate education of over $101 million. M-S funding has supported nearly 200 research projects in Maine since 1964 and doubled the number of UMaine forestry faculty that would have been possible otherwise.
Nationwide the M-S program has also helped produce thousands of trained scientists and other forestry professionals. Since initial funding in 1964, the M-S program has produced more than 8,000 master's degrees and 2,400 doctoral degrees (an estimated 37 percent of all graduate degrees in forestry) in the United States. It is likely that many universities would likely not have forestry research and graduate training programs today if it were not for the M-S program.
More information from the University of Maine on their program can be found here. Additional historical information on the overall program can be found here. The full text of the resolution Michaud introduced today can be found below.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of Public Law 87-788, commonly known as the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Act.
Whereas October 10, 2012, marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Public Law 87-788 (commonly known as the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Act; 16 U.S.C. 582a et seq.), which authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to encourage and assist States in conducting a program of forestry research;
Whereas the Act was named for the two primary, bipartisan sponsors of the Act, Representative Clifford G. McIntire of Maine and Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi, who recognized that research in forestry is the "driving force behind progress in developing and utilizing the Nation's forests;"
Whereas the Act recognized that forestry research would be more effective nationwide if efforts among State colleges and universities were partnered and more closely coordinated with forestry research activities carried out by the Federal Government;
Whereas Congressman McIntire and Senator Stennis stated a clear intent to address the important need for increased numbers of highly trained forestry scientists and other research professionals in the United States;
Whereas the Act has provided base funding throughout five decades to create and strengthen research and training capacity in forestry at State-supported colleges and universities;
Whereas funds provided through the Act at State-supported colleges and universities are highly leveraged with non-Federal funds;
Whereas university-based forestry research has provided an accumulated wealth of science-based knowledge, skills, and technologies that have been critical for sustaining the economic, ecological, and social benefits of forests in the United States;
Whereas funding provided through the Act for forestry research at State-supported colleges and universities has provided significant graduate student support over the last 50 years, resulting in 8,500 master's degrees and 2,600 doctoral degrees;
Whereas the State-supported colleges and universities receiving funds through the Act conduct forestry research in each State and in four territories of the United States, and disseminate the results of such research locally, regionally, nationally, and globally for the betterment of local communities, the Nation, and the world; and
Whereas many State-supported colleges and universities are celebrating and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Act: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved That the House of Representatives --
(1) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Public Law 87-788, commonly known as the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act (16 U.S.C. 582a et seq.);
(2) encourages the people of the United States to observe and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act; and
(3) affirms the continuing importance and vitality of the State-supported colleges and universities conducting forestry research and training supported by the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Act.