NACo > Legislation & Policy > Washington Watch > Posts > ​Counties Urge Senate to Develop Comprehensive Forest Health Legislation
August 16
​Counties Urge Senate to Develop Comprehensive Forest Health Legislation
NACo, joined by a coalition of nearly 100 organizations (including 27 state associations of counties, national trade associations, and regional forestry groups) signed a letter to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), calling for legislation to restore and maintain the health of the nation’s federal forests through active forest management.


The letter, dated July 26, 2013, highlighted the growing forest health crisis on the nation’s federal lands. since 2003, the U.S. has faced the six worst fire seasons in modern history. This increase in fire danger and fuel loading can be directly correlated with the reduction in active forest management. Since the late 1980s timber harvests on federal forests have declined by more than 75 percent.

Specifically, the coalition called for legislation to reduce the cost of environmental reviews, reduce the number of lawsuits and appeals after projects have been identified through environmental review, and expedite the process for projects and programs to restore and maintain the health of our federal forests. NACo supports changes in federal law to provide for increased active management on federal lands to provide stability in federal forest payments to counties and generate local jobs that will raise local tax revenues.


Contact: Ryan Yates at or 202.942.4207 


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