January 28, 2019

House Passes Forest Management Measures with Broad Support

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two measures on voice vote that will provide important financial resources to reduce the impact of catastrophic wildfires while helping to improve the overall health of forests, a conservation policy priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF).

These measures were added as floor amendments to H.R. 268, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019, which is a natural disaster relief funding bill.

The first of these measures, H. Amendment 7, was offered by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Representative Chris Stewart (UT). This measure would provide $21 million for hazardous fuels reduction which typically consists of reducing understory vegetation and removing disease and insect-infected trees to reduce the intensity of wildfires and improve forest resiliency

The second measure, H. Amendment 12, was offered by CSC Member Representative Bruce Westerman (AR). It would provide an additional $10 million in funds to the Department of Agriculture for the implementation of State and private forestry programs. This amendment provides financial resources to actively manage our public state forests as well as privately owned forests, which account for more than half of the nation’s forest lands. 

Healthy forests provide excellent opportunities for America’s sportsmen and women to participate in hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting. If H.R. 268 is enacted, these amendments will help provide additional resources for our nation’s forest managers to proactively manage these lands which will increase quality experiences for sportsmen and women. This legislation now awaits further action in the U.S. Senate.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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