Congressman Dan Benishek has introduced his first piece of legislation. It’s intended to streamline timber sales on federal forest lands. The Republican from Iron River says the bill is a simple, common sense approach that cuts government red tape
in the review process for timber sales.
The Congressman says in the past six months, he has met with
loggers, timber product companies, and forestry experts regarding issues facing the industry. The bill will allow the U.S. Forest Service to use a “pre-decisional” administration review process for timber sales. The Congressman explained that this will require outside groups-such as environmentalists-to submit their objections to the Forest Service before a timber sale plan is determined. By doing this, their concerns can be heard without having the sale process be bogged down endlessly in court.
“Ultimately this is about jobs in the First District, and responsibly
using the God-given resources found in Northern Michigan,” Benishek added.
Benishek said that such a “pre-decisional” process is already used for
removing hazardous wood prone to forest fires and deceased trees.
Benishek’s proposal would simply apply that process to commercial timber sales.
As a Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Benishek is confident he will be able to educate his colleagues about the importance of promoting jobs in the timber industry.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, Michigan’s First District is home to three national forests, Ottawa, Hiawatha, and Manistee, which total some 2.3 million acres of woodlands.
To read the legislation, go online to benishek.house.gov/sites/benishek.house.gov/files/documents/ForestryBill.pdf>
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