U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II held the U.S. Forest Service accountable today for over-regulating and mismanaging access to America's national forests.
During a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands hearing, Southerland highlighted the destructive impact that onerous regulations and ever-shrinking public access has had on forestry communities.
"Forestry communities across America are being crushed by the heavy boot of Washington overregulation," Southerland said. "In North Florida's Apalachicola National Forest, loggers have seen their access to timber restricted further and further, to the point that just seven-percent of its total growth and 27-percent of its allowable cut is being harvested. This type of sinful mismanagement is putting hardworking Americans out of work, crippling rural economies and increasing the risk of deadly forest fires. It's time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow our timber producers to responsibly access a God-given resource that belongs to the people, not the Beltway bureaucrats."
Southerland is an original cosponsor of the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, which renews the federal government's commitment to managing forest resources for the benefit of our nation's rural schools and counties.