U.S. Senators Urged to Heed Risks to Nations Forests

In his capacity as president of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), Arkansas State Forester Joe Fox testified at a hearing before the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee titled: “Federal, State, and Private Forestlands: Opportunities for Addressing Climate Change.” In his testimony, Fox warned lawmakers that without “significant investments,” the nation’s timberlands are at risk. Forests store vast amounts of carbon dioxide, but climate change is making them increasingly vulnerable to flames, disease and infestation. Fox went on to say, “To maintain our forest carbon sinks, we can’t let them be destroyed by out-of-control wildfires. We must reduce wildfire fuel loads. That is why the NASF recently endorsed the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act, which calls for a 10-year, $60 billion investment in woodland and watershed restoration. In his opening statement, U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking Republican on the committee, called trees “the world’s greatest carbon sequestration machines.” “When we manage our forests properly, we can harvest desirable timber, continue reforestation activities and support the growing wood products industry which sequesters carbon in products beyond the life of the individual tree,” he said.

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Senators urged to heed risk to forests